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21 Reasons and Substance Use Prevention

21 Reasons was a community based coalition which brought together individuals, organizations, and bsinesses with a common goal: to build a healthy community environment with policies, practices, and attitudes that support the drug-free development of all youth. The coalition brought together more than 150 concerned community members and organizations that collaborated to build a healthier environment for youth in the city of Portland, ME. MCDPH furthered this work through the Sober Truth of Preventing Underage Drinking (STOP) funding opportunity to reach young adult (18-25 year olds) and Portland's LGBTQ population with social marketing and targeted health messaging efforts including Maine BAC. 21 Reasons was one of only 3 coalitions recognized nationwide in 2011 by the National Association of State Alcohol/Drug Abuse Directors when it received the Exemplary Award for Innovative Substance Abuse Prevention Programs, Practices, and Policies.

21 Reasons provided mentoring to new substance abuse prevention coalitions through the federal Drug Free Communities (DFC) Mentoring Program. 21 Reasons mentored four communities in Maine:

2008-2010- Casco Bay CAN Coalition.
2010-2012- SHIFT GNG (Supporting Healthy Influences For our Towns - Gray/New Gloucester)
2013-2014- River Valley Health Communities Coalition
2014-2015- Healthy Lincoln County
The DFC Mentoring program activities and deliverables included completing a community needs and resources assessment, capacity building (including member recruitment and training), strategic planning, logic model construction, brand development, and submission of Drug Free Communities grant applications.

MCDPH leverages this expertise to continue to provide training, consulting services, and technical assistance for communities to implement evidence-based strategies for prevention of underage drinking and drug use. MCDPH staff has also been trained to deliver the four-day Substance Abuse Prevention Skills Training, a training developed by the Center for Application of Prevention Technologies (CAPT).

Our trainings promote a comprehensive model for environmental change that includes coalition-building, social marketing, media advocacy, and policy change. Clients have included organizations throughout Maine and the US. As lead technical assistance provider for Maine Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health prevention grantees (2005-2010), MCDPH assisted in building statewide capacity by designing and conducting trainings, writing policy guides and project implementation manuals, convening monthly learning community conference calls, and providing ongoing technical support.

Region Served: Maine, Central, Northern and Southeast CAPT regions.

Focus Areas: youth substance abuse prevention, preventing youth access to alcohol, increasing adult's knowledge of youth risk and prevention behaviors, training and technical assistance, coalition-building, policy and systems change, evidence-based practice

Tools: curriculum development, training, technical support, community organizing, coalition-building, social marketing, social media, media advocacy, policy analysis, policy development, policy advocacy

Funders: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, City of Portland's Health and Human Services Division; Maine CDC

Partners: The 21 Reasons coalition had active engagement from 12 community sectors including the City of Portland, Health and Human Services Division and Healthy Portland, Portland Public Schools, Portland Police Department, Portland Downtown District, Day One, Community Television Network, Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Maine, Nappi Distributors, Learning Works, Sexual Assault Services of Southern Maine, Refugee Services, students, parents, and many more.

Contact: Danielle Louder or Elizabeth Foley, MBA, Co-Directors
dlouder@mcdph.org or efoley@mcdph.org, 207-622-7566 x225 or x297

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MCD is the type of organization that everyone looks to as a collaborator in efforts to improve public health. Their vast expertise and innovative thinking have allowed us to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS while helping those affected by this disease lead healthier, more productive lives.
- Andrew Bossie, Executive Director, Maine AIDS Alliance

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