Partners for Healthier Communities (PHC) works to implement comprehensive prevention interventions and evidence based strategies for the Western York County region, including the towns of Acton, Alfred, Cornish, Limerick, Limington, Lyman, Newfield, Parsonsfield, Sanford, Shapleigh and Waterboro. We partner and collaborate with community members including youth, parents, teachers, law enforcement, health providers, hospitals, and businesses to:
- Prevent opioid use including heroin in youth and young adults
- Prevent alcohol use among youth and binge drinking among young adults
- Prevent marijuana use by youth and young adults
- Prevent prescription drug misuse by youth, young adults and adults
The Safe Medication Storage program is funded by a specialized state grant to prevent the diversion, misuse, and abuse of prescription medications. Accessibility is a major contributing factor to the misuse and abuse of medications, including prescription opioids.
By providing lock boxes and education around safe storage and disposal of prescription and over the counter (OTC) medications, we are working to: a) curtail the number of prescription and OTC medications-of-abuse diverted from their intended use, b) disseminate information on safe storage and safe medication disposal, and c) increase the visibility of measures taken to stem drug abuse in the community. By locking up sensitive medications, community members, schools, and families are making a visible statement about the importance of preventing drug abuse.
Lock-boxes can be obtained through schools, community health organizations, foster programs, and realtors, among others.
SIRP is an education-based program for youth experimenting with alcohol or other drugs. The program empowers youth to make healthy decisions and reduce risk. By connecting with schools and justice programs, PHC facilitates SIRP as a restorative measure – rather than a punitive response – for young people with drug and alcohol violations to re-integrate into their schools. To learn more, or to submit a referral, visit the Educational Institute of Maine.
In an effort to stem the sale of alcohol to minors and the over-serving of beverages to at-risk or intoxicated individuals, PHC provides state-sanctioned ID recognition and responsible service/seller training to alcohol vendors and retailers.
Text-A-Tip utilizes a technological approach to increase the reporting of crime and suspicious behavior. Community members can text a tip directly to Sanford police, while scrambling their number through Text-A-Tip’s service, concealing their identity. By decreasing stigma associated with reporting crimes, more illicit activities can be reported directly to local law enforcement.
To report suspicious behavior or information about a crime, text “SANFORD” followed by your tip, to 274-637 (CRIMES).
To raise awareness about youth use of drugs and alcohol, PHC has partnered with a local youth-led film club through Sanford’s SRTC program to develop and air Public Service Announcements. These messages cover a variety of substance-related topics, including cannabis consumption among youth, and parental messages around alcohol consumption.
The Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey (MIYHS) is the result of collaboration between the Maine Department of Health and Human Services and the Maine Department of Education. Its purpose is to quantify the health-related behaviors and attitudes of 5th through 12th graders by direct student survey. For information on substance-use and health-related statistics among Maine’s 5th-12th grade students, visit https://data.mainepublichealth.gov/miyhs/home