November 4, 2015

Opportunity Alliance receives grant to prevent youth substance abuse

SOUTH PORTLAND—The Public Health Program at The Opportunity Alliance has received a $6,000 grant from the Welch Charitable Foundation of the Maine Community Foundation to prevent youth substance use by ensuring youth have access to the Student Intervention and Reintegration Program (SIRP). SIRP is an early intervention and education program for youth who are at-risk or experimenting with alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs. This funding will allow the Public Health Program to continue building upon work with local law enforcement, schools, and Maine Youth Court to provide youth an alternative, educational program to reduce and prevent future substance use. 

“We have had tremendous success over the last three years referring youth in our program to SIRP provider agencies in our service area. We have found the program to be effective and engaging for our youth,” said Michael Freysinger, project director of Maine Youth Court.  “Moreover, we have found the coordinators of SIRP to be valuable partners in our collaborative effort to combat and prevent youth substance abuse in our communities.”

The Public Health Program works to reduce drug, alcohol, and tobacco use among teens; increase access to healthy foods and nutrition education; support community environments and increase physical activity; and increase equity in access to health services. This award will provide four SIRP classes to youth in the Healthy Maine Partnerships Healthy Lakes and Healthy Rivers Regions. For more information, contact Heather Drake at 207-553-5836.

With offices in Ellsworth and Portland, the Maine Community Foundation works with donors and other partners to improve the quality of life for all Maine people. To learn more about the foundation, visit

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