Overdose Prevention Project

Welcome to the July issue of the Overdose Prevention Project's e-newsletter!  In this issue you will find updates on the Portland Women's Taskforce, national publications, Westbrook PD efforts, as well as a link to our MySpace page.  Plus, check out our new logo!

Have a safe & happy summer!

Amanda & Ronni
Overdose Prevention Project

Maine News

From News 13 WGME: Westbrook's War on Drugs
"Police in Westbrook were out working the streets Wednesday morning targeting new recruits in that city's war on drugs. Officers fanned out across the city armed with flyers asking the public to become more involved in ridding their neighborhoods of drugs."

"Police targeted 10 streets and handed out more than 150 flyers in areas where drugs are a recurring problem. Residents who spoke with News 13 say they applaud the aggressive and proactive approach to policing, however some question whether or not residents will really drop a dime if they see drug related activity near their homes.  Westbrook averages one overdose per day and officials fear the problem is only getting worse."
Click Here for the WGME Video Report

Maine is a Lure for Drug Sales, Police Say
Dealers from southern New England allegedly have targeted Biddeford and Saco as profit centers
"Documents recently filed in federal court have shed light on the inner workings of an alleged drug trafficking operation that linked New London, Conn., with Biddeford and Saco..."

"Law enforcement officials say the case illustrates a trend: Drug dealers based in southern New England are seeking to expand operations northward, and to cash in on the higher prices they can charge for drugs in Maine, compared to cities like Hartford and Boston. 'They can triple their profit here,' said York County Sheriff Maurice Ouellette, a former state drug investigator. 'It is certainly picking up, in terms of activity. We are into the same drugs and problems that the larger areas have had.'"
Click Here for the Portland Press Herald Article

OSA's Community Epidemiology Surveillance Network Report: "Substance Abuse Trends in Maine"
"This report [prepared by Hornby Zeller] takes into account the primary objectives of the (CESN): to identify substance abuse patterns in defined geographicalareas, establish substance abuse trends, detect emerging substances, and provide information for policy development and program planning...data were obtained from various sources. This report includes data available through February 2008 and updates a report produced by the CESN in August 2007."
Click Here to View the CESN Report

Safe Medicine Disposal for ME Program
"The Safe Medicine Disposal for ME program provides Maine's older adults and their caregivers with a safe disposal option for unused and unwanted medicine. Free medicine mailback envelopes will be available at participating pharmacies sites in May 2008. This program is funded through a grant from the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Aging Initiative."
Go To: www.safemeddisposal.com FMI

MySpace is Your Space!
Click Here for the OPP's MySpace Page!Portland's Overdose Prevention Project and Women's Taskforce are now on MySpace! 
Why?  MySpace offers our groups an opportunity to be viewed by thousands of people at any given time.  We feel that in our efforts to reach as many people as possible with the message of prevention, recovery and hope, taking our info to MySpace seemed like a good fit.  We will blog, post resources, events and any alerts for the Greater Portland area. Check us out & spread the word!

Additional Addiction Support & Prevention Resources on MySpace
Addiction 411 on MySpace
"Pharmaceutical firm Reckitt Benckiser -- which makes the anti-addiction medication Suboxone -- has launched a new MySpace health-information site focused on addiction to opioid-based painkillers, called Addiction 411."

Harm Reduction Coalition (NYC)
"HRC advances policies and programs that help people address the adverse effects of drug use including overdose, HIV, hepatitis C, addiction, and incarceration...and work to uphold every individual's right to health and well-being, as well as in their competence to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their communities."

HAMS: "Better is Better"
"HAMS offers online support worldwide via a chat room and a Yahoo group, as well as live meetings. HAMS is a free-of-charge, peer-led support group for people who wish to change their drinking. HAMS supports safer drinking, reduced drinking, or abstinence from alcohol. We meet drinkers 'where they are at' and support every positive change. The acronym HAMS stands for 'Harm reduction, Abstinence, and Moderation Support.'" www.myspace.com/porkchoptze

Dance Safe
"DanceSafe is a non-profit, volunteer-based organization using harm reduction and peer education to prevent drug-related risks among youths in the dance and party scene."

National News You Can Use

*NY Times Interactive Video Features -
"Life After Rehab"
"Later in Life, an Addict Confronts Her Demons"
"A Multi-Generational Plague"

*Here-to-Help: A confidential email support program that can help start you or loved one on the road to recovery
is an e-mail support program that provides tools and information for people who are interested in learning more about addiction to prescription painkillers or heroin.  A series of emails will share:
  • Myths and facts about addiction
  • Strategies for recognizing signs of addiction
  • Tips for talking to a friend, family member, or doctor
  • What to expect before and during treatment
  • Additional online tools and support"
  • Here-to-Help Website
*In Florida, Addicts Find an Oasis of Sobriety
DELRAY BEACH, Fla. - "Whitney Tower, 56, a scion of the Whitney, Vanderbilt and Drexel fortunes, squandered his trust fund and sold family treasures to support a $1,000-a-day heroin habit before landing in a tough-love facility near here seven years ago and never leaving. 'If I went back to New York I'd be dead in two weeks,' he said."  Read More from the New York Times Article

*The Choice: Go Straight or Go to Jail -
Program Targets Neighborhood Dealers

"Burlee Kersey and the 15 others gathered at Chavis Park more than a year ago because of an invitation from the police they found hard to turn down:
'I have proof that you are involved in selling drugs. I am inviting you to a meeting ... at [the] Chavis Park Community Center. You will not be arrested.'"
Their loved ones had also been invited to help them make the decision to accept the rehabilitation program being offered..."
Read More from the Raleigh (NC) News Observer

*The Prescription of a New Generation
This article, written by Sociologist Meika Loe (published in Contexts: Understanding People in their Social Worlds) "...discusses prescription drugs and their influence to the new generation. The article implies that college students in the United States are raised in a society that upholds such drugs as everyday commodities or even as school necessities. As a result, college students take prescription drugs to be able to withstand the competition for college admission, a scenario which the article investigates." 
Click Here for Article Details (Purchase Required for Full Publication)

*Faces & Voices of Recovery: New Online Book Club Launched
At Faces & Voices for Recovery, they've been "...hearing from advocates around the country who want to read and discuss books together that are important to the recovery community and our recovery advocacy movement. Discussions begin August 1st." 
Click Here FMI About the FAVOR Online Book Club

Portland Women's Taskforce
Portland Women's Taskforce on MySpace!PWT members have been working closely with the Parkside Neighborhood Center, Community Police and USM Community Nursing students to work together to bring a mom's group to the Parkside center. 

The USM nursing students have spoken with several women in recovery who have shared that they have no friends who aren't using are are simply looking to make new friends and find safe places for their children while they do so.  This has sparked interest and we are planning an ongoing "Mom's Night" at Parkside this fall!  Right now, we're seeking information about volunteers for childcare and how to make the night fun and safe for the moms and their children.  If you'd like to help, call Ronni at 756-8116!

If you would like to join the email group or would like to learn more,

please contact Ronni Katz at 756-8116.  Our next meeting is August 6th and will be held at MMC.

The PWT is made up of partners from
Maine Medical Center, Community Partnerships for Proctecting Children, Community Police, CAP Quality Care, Discovery House, Maine Alliance for Addiction Recovery, Mercy Recovery, USM, PROP/Women's Project, Youth Alternatives Ingraham, DHHS, Family Crisis Services, City of Portland Public Health, Crossroads for Women, Volunteers of America, and Casey Family Services.

The OPP Event & Meeting Calendar
Click Here for the OPP Calendar
Calendar Listings
The Overdose Prevention Project will publish meetings, events & upcoming class offerings using Localendar.com.  Please submit your listings as soon as they become available.  You can click the Localendar.com icon (above) for the OPP Calendar page; this page is also available for viewing or for forwarding anytime by clicking: http://www.localendar.com/public/OverdosePrevProject
Next Meeting
The next OPP meeting is scheduled for July 2, 2008 at CAP Quality Care in Westbrook.  If you would like to inquire about attending a meeting, please contact Ronni Katz at rmk@portlandmaine.gov or at 756-8116.

City of Portland Substance Abuse Prevention Program Website
We have listed area treatment providers as well as national resources for community members, families, teens and specific resources for women in need.  If you would like to add anything, let us know!  Check us out at: www.substanceabuse.portlandmaine.gov

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Who We Are...

Overdose Prevention Project Members
Portland's OPP is made up of numerous statewide and local treatment and prevention providers as well as other state and local agencies.  Representatives are from: Discovery House, CAP Quality Care, Portland Police Department and the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, OSA, Community Substance Abuse Centers and various departments within the City of Portland's Public Health Division (Health & Human Services Department).

ontact Us

Call Ronni Katz, City of  Portland Public Health Division's Substance Abuse Prevention Program Coordinator at 756-8116 or Amanda Edgar, City of Portland Public Health Division's Community Health Promotion Specialist at 756-8053 for more information about the OPP's efforts or to learn more about community resources!

Our Mission:

To prevent drug overdoses by providing support, advocacy, education & outreach to the Portland community through positive collaborations & partnerships.

Join Our Mailing List: Did you receive this email as a forward?  Want to get bi-monthly updates & alerts?  Click the box below to sign up!
Click Here to Join Our Mailing List!


City of Portland  Click Here for OSA's Website

The Overdose Prevention Project is supported by the Maine Office of Substance Abuse and the City of Portland Public Health Division, Health & Human Services Department

If you have any comments or questions regarding the content provided in the newsletter,
please contact Amanda at aedgar@portlandmaine.gov.