Thank You Casco Bay Region Teens!

Members of the community express their thanks to Casco Bay region teens, who are doing their part to keep their community safe and healthy. These times have been particularly difficult for kids as they haven’t been able to attend school, participate in events with their friends, or explore their world in new and exciting ways – all of the things that teens love. Casco Bay CAN Coalition members recognize how strong/resilient youth are and we thank them!

Wishing everyone a safe and healthy 2021!

Casco Bay CAN Earns Nationwide Award

We are so excited to announce that the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) recognized Casco Bay CAN in October as one of the top ten case studies nationwide for successful strategies to reduce substance use in young people. Check out the press release from Cumberland County Government, Maine below and the link to the case study.
Government of Cumberland County, Maine
Contact: Travis Kennedy | 207-619-2663
Casco Bay CAN Earns Nationwide Recognition
Cumberland County sponsored program works to reduce underage drinking, drug use
NEW GLOUCESTER — Casco Bay CAN has earned national recognition for their work to reduce substance use in young people.
Casco Bay Create Awareness Now (CAN) is a Coalition of members representing all 12 Drug-Free Community sectors: businesses, media, schools, youth-serving organizations, law enforcement, parents, youth, religious and fraternal organizations, civic and volunteer groups, healthcare professionals, state and local government, and other organizations involved in reducing youth substance use. The coalition serves Cumberland, Falmouth, Freeport, Gray, New Gloucester, North Yarmouth, Yarmouth and Pownal.
Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America CADCA recognized Casco Bay CAN in October as one of the top ten case studies nationwide for successful strategies to reduce substance use in young people.
“Casco Bay CAN has become a leading resource for community organizations and agencies that look to us for guidance, training, and materials to support their youth substance use prevention efforts,” said Beth Blakeman-Pohl, Casco Bay CAN’s Program Director. “We work to educate and empower adults that influence youth, and they have consistently stepped up to participate. Our Coalition is so proud to receive this recognition.”
The Casco Bay CAN program engages parents, faith leaders, school staff and law enforcement to conduct programs ranging from education about the dangers of underage drinking and substance use, to peer-to-peer prevention messaging.
Casco Bay CAN also worked with local law enforcement to implement “Project Sticker Shock,” a point-of-sale campaign to bring awareness to state laws and penalties for providing alcohol to minors. In May and December each year, approximately 100 youth volunteers work in collaboration with all five local law enforcement agencies and nearly 20 local retailers to place bright orange awareness stickers on alcohol packs. The project is supported with ad campaigns and social media posts. Local restaurants participate by placing pizza box top stickers with the headline, “Because You Care About Teens, Don’t Provide the Means.” Youth volunteers wear “Project Sticker Shock” t-shirts and receive recognition for their efforts.
CADCA developed case studies from the most recent Drug-Free Communities (DFC) outcome data available. These case studies featured coalitions that documented reductions in youth substance use across all grade levels (middle and high school) and all substances (alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and prescription drugs). These coalitions went through a rigorous training on CADCA’s model of Community Change. They implemented a comprehensive strategy that encompassed CADCA’s 7 Strategies for Community Change. These are: providing information; building skills; providing support; enhancing access/reducing barriers; changing consequences (incentives/disincentives); changing physical design; and modifying and changing policies.
CADCA’s Public Policy Team interviewed coalition leaders to see what they had done across the seven strategies. “We chose the best-of-the-best coalitions for our case studies,” said Chris Doarn, Public Policy Manager for CADCA. “Members of Casco Bay CAN should feel a tremendous sense of honor and pride in their coalition’s selection as a case study. CADCA thanks them for their outstanding work.”
Casco Bay’s outcome data will be shared with members of Congress, both in Maine and in other states.
“While we are proud of the impact we have had in our communities over the past decade, there is still much more to do to empower youth to make healthy choices,” said Blakeman-Pohl. “Today’s youth face new circumstances that can lead to self-medicating, including increased stress and anxiety, which has been exacerbated by COVID-19. Over the next decade, we will build upon our strong network to increase our impact, build resiliency with youth and families, and address on-going and emerging challenges in order to continue our work reducing substance use by children and teens.”

Community Members Develop Video to Thank Local Teens for Their Sacrifices During COVID-19

Community Members Develop Video to Thank Local Teens for Their Sacrifices During COVID-19

NEW GLOUCESTER, MAINE (April 30, 2020) ­–  Members of the community, from school counselors to the Cumberland County Sheriff, developed a video to thank Casco Bay region teens for their personal sacrifices during the pandemic to help keep their community safe and healthy.

This spring, teens have foregone sports, prom, graduation and college campus tours, as well as their vital connections with friends, teachers, coaches and counselors. The youth prevention coalition, Casco Bay CAN, reached out to their coalition members to send video messages acknowledging the sacrifices teens are making during this time and developed a three-minute video montage that will be shared across social media platforms and within school newsletters.

“We know that when young people feel isolated and disconnected some feelings of depression and anxiety can overwhelm them and this can lead to substance use as a way to self-medicate,” explains Phyllis Latham, chairperson of Casco Bay CAN and school counselor at RSU 5 Middle School. “We hope to help them feel their community cares and that Casco Bay CAN is a resource to help them during this time. We wanted to let them know they are our heroes through this pandemic and that we are in this with them as a support.”

Community members featured in the video include:

  • Jonathan Sahrbeck, Cumberland County District Attorney
  • Robin Haley, Falmouth High School Counselor
  • Kevin Joyce, Cumberland County Sheriff
  • Joanne Grant, Maine Behavioral Healthcare
  • Phyllis Latham, School Counselor, RSU 5 Middle School
  • Cole Chandler, Deputy, Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, SRO, SAD 15
  • Kirk Mazuzan, SRO, MSAD 51
  • Jill Piker, SAD 15 High School Counselor
  • Peter Scott, Parent Representative, Social Worker, MSAD 51 High School
  • Michelle Murley, Social Worker, SAD 15 High School

YouTube video featuring community members thanking Casco Bay region teens can be found here:

In addition to developing the video to support and thank teens, Casco Bay CAN has compiled a list of resources for families, counselors, educators and other community members to help address the additional stresses and changes youth are encountering during the COVID-19 crisis.

Tips for Parents Forum

Thank you to Scott Gagnon, Director for AdCare Educational Institute of Maine, Inc. and to Nikki Wetherell, Outpatient Clinician for DayOne, who provided a presentation for parents at Yarmouth High School last Thursday.

Casco Bay CAN at Freeport Public Safety Open House

Casco Bay CAN had a resource table available at Freeport’s Public Safety Open House last night. Thank you to our community partners!


Gray’s End of Summer Fest

Thank you to Joanne Grant, Casco Bay CAN Coalition member and Day One’s Director of Residential Services! Joanne had a Casco Bay CAN information table available at Gray’s End of Summer Fest!


Gray End of Summer Fest5

National Night Out

Casco Bay CAN supports local law enforcement during National Night Out!

National Night Out 2016

Local residents support Casco Bay CAN!

Hendricus Lulofs, Gray resident, and Andy Pohl, New Gloucester resident, show their support of Casco Bay CAN by sponsoring a hole at a local golf fundraiser! Thank you for bringing positive awareness to our community!


Hendricus and Andy Golf Tournament2      Hendricus and Andy Golf Tournament1