Community groups and schools across the state will be raising awareness about alcohol use and abuse on Monday December 4, Alcohol Awareness Day and throughout Maine’s Alcohol Awareness Week December 4 through 8.
The State of Maine recognizes the need for schools and community organizations to address alcohol issues through Maine statute. The statute reads, in part: “Alcohol Awareness Day, the first Monday in December, shall be observed by studying, for at least 45 minutes, a constructive approach toward the use of alcohol and the problems and dangers of alcohol abuse upon the individual, the family, and society.”
Teachers seeking assistance in planning an Alcohol Awareness Day activity may contact the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Tobacco and Substance Use Prevention and Control Program at (207) 287-8901, TTY 711 or email: TSUP.DHHS@maine.gov. Pamphlets may be requested through our new Prevention Store in limited quantities at www.mainepreventionstore.com.
It is important that Maine students be provided with age-appropriate education and awareness about alcohol, tobacco and other drug use. This should be part of a comprehensive school health education, Pre-K through High School curriculum alignment to the Maine Learning Results for Health Education. Activities scheduled for Alcohol Awareness Day and/or week should be part of the curriculum,
This Alcohol Awareness Day, consider using one or more of the following resources to prepare a message or activity to enhance your existing health education curriculum.
- “When you say No to Alcohol, what are you saying yes to?”. This online video that includes a discussion guide provides profiles of five Maine students who discuss their interests as well and reasons for choosing not to drink. The simple message of the video for middle and high school students is that despite assumptions, not all students drink.
- Brain Power: National Institute on Drug Abuse
- Heads Up: Real News about Drugs and Your Body: Scholastics
- SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices
- Too Smart to Start: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
The Maine CDC Tobacco and Substance Use Prevention and Control Program also offers a guide to help schools create, update, and enforce a substance use policy. The guide, “Substance Use Policy: A Comprehensive Guide for School Policy Development” was updated in 2016 and provides practical suggestions for a complete policy, based on research and best practices.