The HealthySV Coalition (HealthySV) will use CARA LDC funding to reduce opioid, methamphetamine, and/or prescription drug use/misuse among youth and change the culture and context regarding acceptability of youth opioid, methamphetamine, and/or prescription drug use/misuse. HealthySV serves a population of 20,473 individuals living in rural towns within Penobscot and Somerset Counties, Maine. In this region known as Sebasticook Valley, rates of opioid use (12.2%) and methamphetamine use (1.8%) among youth ages 12-18 are higher than national averages (0.3% and 0.2% respectively). The target population are Sebasticook Valley youth ages 12-18 who live and attend school within districts RSU19 and MSAD53 (approximately 2,000 youth). Within this are sub-populations who face high levels of health disparities, are at higher risk for substance misuse, and often have less community support resources than urban-located peers. These include: ?Youth who identify as Lesbian, Gay, or Bisexual (approximately 17.2% per 2019 MIYHS)?Youth with 4 or more ACEs experiences (25% per 2019 MIYHS) ?Youth identifying as Black, Native American, Asian, Native Hawaiian, other (2.8%, census) ?Youth with mental health concerns and/or suicidal ideation (~23%-29% per 2018 CHNA)Purpose: Responding to identified community needs, and building on a committed network of coalition partners, HealthySV will focus on changing the culture of acceptance of illegal drug use, improving awareness of and response to child abuse, and improving support for youth.HealthySV will use the Seven Strategies for Community-Level Change to meet its project goals and objectives. Measurable objectives reflected in the 12-Month Action Plan are 1) By June 2022, increase the percentage of youth perception of harm or risk of prescription drug misuse and/or opioid use from 13.9% to 16.9%; 2) By June 2022, increase the percent of youth who state parental disapproval of prescription drug misuse and/or opioid use
from 3.8% to 6.8% 3) By June 2022, decrease the percent of high school students reporting lifetime prescription drug misuse from 12.2% to 9.2% 4) By June 2022, decrease the percent of high school students reporting lifetime methamphetamine use from 1.8% to .8% 5) By June 2022, decrease the percent of middle school students reporting 30-day prescription drug misuse from 3.5% to 2.5. Our projected short and intermediate term outcomes include: increased community awareness of youth substance use; increased community education on signs/symptoms, risks, and harm of youth substance use; increased outreach to enhance sector engagement impacted by COVID; increased youth resiliency and refusal skills through increased access to evidence-based programming, increased opportunity for youth participation and promotion of drug-free living activities; decreased ease and availability for youth to access opioids, prescription drugs, and/or methamphetamines; increased awareness of ACEs in schools; increased educator and community understanding around youth experiencing trauma and root-causes of negative behaviors; increased protective factors in families; increased resilience-building activities and curriculum for youth within classroom settings; and increased educator and community knowledge of available youth mental health resources.