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Substance Use Trends Among Midcoast Middle & High Schoolers

Spring is here and everyone is looking forward to getting outdoors for spring sports. With

baseball & softball, track & field, tennis, golf, and lacrosse season upon us, we want our students

to be in their best condition possible. Alcohol and substance use, including cannabis, tobacco,

and prescription medications are major concerns for Maine’s youth.

Results from the 2023 Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey (MIYHS) show that alcohol

use among middle schoolers, and marijuana and prescription drug use among middle- and high-

schoolers, has notably increased in the Midcoast Public Health District since 2021.Beloware

some strategies to support our students to make good choices with health and wellness in mind.

Encourage Participation

Spending lots of time unsupervised after school and on weekends greatly increases the

odds that teens will experiment with drugs, so being on a sports team is a protective factor. Make

a special effort to involve youth in fun and rewarding extracurricular activities.

Keep Open Communication

Ensure that students know the risks of drug use, especially those that affect health and

athletic performance in the short-term and those that affect their future. Help them realize that

most people their age DON’T use drugs. Encourage students to think about their future goals.

Set Expectations & Be an Example

Clearly express the expectation that students will not use drugs. Teens need expectations

stated explicitly to understand the standards to which they are being held. It is also important that

students are aware of the opinions held by influential adults in their lives.


about substance use prevention from PBCHP

Check out PBCHP’s free resources at

2024April-PBCHP School Newsletter
Download PDF • 1.59MB


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