Maine Substance Use Prevention Services

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Maine Substance Use Prevention Services’ (SUPS) 20 local agency partners work collectively to implement activities that reduce young people’s substance use and misuse. Young people’s substance use and misuse impact the health, safety, and success of Maine individuals, families, and communities.

The efforts of the Maine SUPS program address individual, family, peer group, organizational, and community factors that influence people’s substance use choices. This community-based approach is more effective than trying to address substance-use issues through individual-focused initiatives. 

Attitudes, knowledge, and perceived norms are all very powerful influences on people’s substance use behaviors. Research shows:

  • If young people believe their peers, family, and community are not okay with them using substances, they are less likely to use.
  • If a person believes there are many people who do not use substances, it can help them to not use or use less, and to see that they are not alone in doing so.
  • If people have adequate awareness and skills around seeing how substance use can interfere with what is important to them, they are less likely to use.
  • If people believe that a substance is hard to get, they are less likely to use


Maine SUPS partners implement research-based, state-approved interventions to best meet the needs of the communities they serve. Partners look at state and local data regarding substance use behaviors, attitudes, perceptions, and consequences. They engage people from communities and other organizations to identify areas for improvement at the local, regional, and state levels. This data-driven decision-making and planning help measure change over time. Partners’ plans include activities that fall into the following areas:


Community efforts engage people from many different roles in the community to be part of the solution to substance use.


Education efforts include two-way interactive sessions and lessons that aim to increase participants' knowledge and skills for doing something to prevent substance use.


Policy and Systems efforts aim to impact what is happening in the places where people live, learn, work, and play that may be influencing their substance use behaviors.


Screening and Referral efforts help people and/or the people in their lives to recognize and think about how substance use behaviors could negatively impact a person's life, and connect those people with information or services that support them in making changes to avoid future use or unwanted impacts.


Sharing Information efforts include social media, print, and electronic messages, and work to increase awareness, knowledge, and prevention-minded norms around substance use and misuse.


Youth Activities efforts engage young people in preventing substance use among themselves and their peers. Young people participate in — and often lead — efforts to improve awareness about substance use as something they are concerned about and want to combat.


UNE provides quality assurance and continuous quality improvement to managing the substance use prevention grant. UNE monitors a progress report that includes data regarding community interventions and activities across Maine. This monitoring tool provides us the opportunity to track progress, identify challenges, and highlight accomplishments in a timely manner. This centralized report allows us to provide clear communication of efforts and achievements to the Maine CDC. The Maine CDC subcontracts with Public Consulting Group (PCG) to provide the evaluation of the SAMHSA Partnership for Success and Strategic Prevention Framework for Prescription Drug grants, two funding sources for the Maine SUPS program. UNE coordinates its quality assurance processes with PCG.

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