Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Parents Connecting for Alcohol-Free Youth

This fall, the Maine Office of Substance Abuse (OSA) is launching a new resource co-developed with 21 Reasons and Maine’s Environmental Substance Abuse Prevention Center (MESAP).

“Connecting for Alcohol-Free Youth: A Parent Discussion – Facilitator’s Guide” is an innovative tool to help empower parents to prevent underage drinking. Check it out here!

The guide provides step-by-step instruction for hosting and facilitating small parent discussions, using a format inspired by the “Tupperware” model. Each discussion is meant to be friendly and relaxed, held in a home or a similarly comfortable community setting—for example, a local coffee shop or a meeting room in the public library. While designed primarily for parents of 5th- 8th graders, these discussions are appropriate for parents with younger children as well as older teenagers.

Geoffrey Miller, Associate Director of OSA, says:
“These discussions are designed to help you provide local parents with an opportunity to connect with other parents in a way that establishes shared monitoring strategies to prevent underage drinking.

“We are very excited about this new model, and look forward to seeing it carried out across the state. Success stories from the piloted communities are truly inspiring: One of the parent groups found the meeting so valuable that they formed a parenting group; many signed on to do more meetings; some were trained as facilitators; and others continued working on this initiative by becoming involved in their local community coalition. This is what we would like to see happen in communities across Maine.”
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has approved a change in format for Maine’s 2010 Preventing Underage Drinking Meetings. Rather than using the traditional town hall meeting format, Maine community-based organizations that participate in this initiative will be using “Connecting For Alcohol-Free Youth” in a small-meeting format with parents.

In fact, SAMHSA was so impressed with the discussion guide and this concept that they requested to offer the guide as a national resource!

We are so excited to assist SAMHSA and OSA in their efforts to prevent underage drinking; we hope that the upcoming parent meetings will inspire our communities here in Maine and across the country.


  1. Keep posting stuff like this i really like it.