Maine was awarded a $2.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to be used in reducing alcohol and drug use among the youth.
According to a press release from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, the state will receive nearly $891,000 per year for three years to cut down underage alcohol use among 12-20 –year-olds, and reduce prescription drug abuse and marijuana use among 12-25-year olds.
“Maine was able to make positive impacts in reducing youth substance use and built substance abuse systems and supports with the first Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive grant. This new grant will focus on supporting strong collaboration at the state and local levels to use proven prevention strategies that have produced positive, measurable results,” said Guy Cousins, Director of Maine’s Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHS).
During the three-year project, the Healthy Maine Partnership coalitions (HMPs) in all of Maine’s Public Health Districts will be responsible for coordinating the state’s efforts in promoting public health. Strategies that have been proven to work will be used state-wide. All HMPs will work closely with law enforcement, schools, worksites, healthcare and local government to address problems and opportunities identified through state-produced data.
“We know that we can reach our goals by working with state, district, and local partners,” Cousins added.
According to Maine’s 2012 substance abuse trends report, over one quarter of high school students in Maine reported consuming alcohol in the past month. Among high school students who had consumed alcohol in 2011, under one-third reported starting before the age 13. In terms of drug use, marijuana is the most often used illegal drug in the state, with one in five high school students reported using the drug within the past month.