For Immediate Release
June 26, 2018
Contact: Jamie Comstock, Health Promotion Manager
Dr. Betsy Webb, Superintendent of Schools
City of Bangor Awarded SAMHSA CARA Local Drug Crisis Grant
Bangor, Maine: On Friday, June 15, Senator Collins and Congressman Poliquin’s offices notified the City of Bangor of being awarded a SAMHSA CARA Local Drug Crisis Grant, which will enable the Public Health and Community Services Department to work collaboratively with Bangor School Department to prevent youth opioid use through the creation of a chronic absenteeism prevention program.
“We are thrilled to be working with Bangor Public Health and Community Services on this innovative project,“ stated Dr. Betsy Webb, Superintendent of the Bangor School Department. “Reducing youth opioid use by reducing chronic absenteeism is a new approach. The research tells us that if we can increase the amount of time students spend in school they can better benefit from the protective factors the school environment provides, which puts them on track for success later in life.”
This program will allow the school department to hire an attendance specialist to work directly with families and, as part of a larger community coalition, to implement systems and policy changes to reduce chronic absenteeism. The coalition will also work to implement a campaign to raise awareness about the risk factors associated with chronic absenteeism, including higher rates of youth substance use.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)’s Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 (CARA) Grant’s goal is to prevent and reduce the abuse of opioids or methamphetamines and the abuse of prescription medications among youth ages 12-18 in communities throughout the United States. This is a three-year grant with an annual budget of $49,791.
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The City of Bangor, Maine is a service center community of 33,039 residents and is the county seat of Penobscot County. Bangor is the major commercial and cultural center for much of northern and eastern Maine. The City is an equal opportunity employer and service provider. For information on City projects and news, see www.bangormaine.gov.