WASHINGTON – Colleen Taylor-Capano, a staff member of Healthy Androscoggin, was among 3,000 individuals from across the country who attended the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of American National Leadership Forum earlier this month, learning strategies to prevent substance abuse and meeting with area lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

Taylor-Capano is a community outreach coordinator with Healthy Androscoggin, which is a not-for-profit community coalition dedicated to improving the health of Androscoggin County residents.

The forum offered insights on emerging trends and techniques in drug abuse prevention and coalition building and provided training in how to implement effective prevention strategies in local communities.

Forum participants went to Capitol Hill to discuss the issue of substance abuse prevention with their elected representatives. Taylor-Capano met with staffers of Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, and Congressman Michael Michaud, outlining the anti-drug coalition’s programs, goals and strategies for keeping Androscoggin County safe and drug-free.

“At a time when critical budget and policy decisions will determine the future of anti-drug programs in Androscoggin County and the rest of the state and country, it was essential to emphasize to our lawmakers the need for their continued support of our efforts,” Taylor-Capano said.

Among Healthy Androscoggin’s most recent funding award is the Drug-Free Community Support Program through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The primary focus of the grant is to reduce substance use/abuse in youth age 12 to 17.

For more information about the above project, call Healthy Androscoggin at 795-5990; also check out the Drug Free Kids campaign Web site at www.drug-freekids.org.

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