Healthy Acadia will kick off the new year with a Naloxone Training and Discussion on Monday, Jan. 10 as part of their Downeast Substance Prevention Coalition monthly meetings. The Coalition was recently known as the Drug Free Communities/Partnerships for Success Coalition and meets monthly on the first Monday at 3:30 p.m. via Zoom to discuss substance prevention activities across Hancock and Washington counties.

As we begin 2022, the Coalition is optimistic that as community groups, organizations, businesses, healthcare providers and others throughout Maine continue to work on harm reduction activities, we will see decreased numbers in overdoses. Unfortunately, 2021 was the deadliest year for overdose deaths on record. It is estimated that the 2020 total of 502 deaths will be surpassed in 2021 by 10 percent or more.  

One harm reduction tool is naloxone. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist. During an overdose, the opioids go into the brain and cover the receptors that tell the body to breathe.  When naloxone is administered, it kicks the opioid off the receptor, allowing the person to start breathing again. While naloxone is not guaranteed to stop every overdose, it is the best defense in reversing an overdose.  

Naloxone is not harmful to anyone who is not experiencing an overdose. In fact, it would be as harmless as giving someone water — even for infants or small children.  

The more people who carry naloxone, the more likely there will be someone available to administer the life-saving medication if it is needed.  Participants who attend the January 10th meeting will receive training on how to administer naloxone and then will be eligible to receive a free naloxone kit by mail. In addition to the training on the 10th, there will be a community discussion on Jan. 31from 2 -3 p.m., to learn more about challenges and successes of naloxone distribution in our communities, and how to make it more widely available.

Healthy Acadia’s Downeast Substance Prevention Coalition meets monthly for discussions and training on various substance and other prevention topics. Each meeting is open to the public and held on Zoom traditionally on the first Monday of the month from 3:30-4:30 p.m.

For more information and login links, contact Sara McConnell, Partnerships for Success Project coordinator, at 207-255-3741 or sara@healthyacadia.org or Tara Young, Drug Free Communities coordinator at 207-667-7171 or tara@healthyacadia.org. January’s meeting will be held virtually by Zoom on Monday, Jan.10 at 3:30 p.m.   

Healthy Acadia is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that engages in a broad range of initiatives to build healthier communities and make it easier for people to lead healthy lives across Washington and Hancock counties, Maine. Learn more at www.healthyacadia.org

 Downeast Maine Partnerships for Success, is a collaborative effort among multiple community partners and organizations throughout Washington and Hancock counties and coordinated by Healthy Acadia to prevent substance use and promote the health and well-being of youth aged 9 to 20 throughout the region. This project is supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) under Partnerships for Success Grant # 1H79SP081695. Learn more by visiting www.samhsa.gov or by calling 877-SAMHSA-7. 

Healthy Acadia’s Hancock County Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Coalition is an alliance of community members and local organizations that are dedicated to empowering youth and reducing underage use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs across Hancock County. The Drug-Free Communities Support Program is supported by a multi-year grant through the Office of National Drug Control Policy and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Learn more by visiting https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/drug-free-communities/about.html.