North Country substance misuse prevention professionals 'primed' to serve

Student Assistance Professionals from schools around northern New Hampshire and North Country Health Consortium staff attended a three-day substance misuse prevention training at the end of October to adopt the “Prime for Life” model into their respective programming for at-risk students and clientele.

“We are dedicated to reducing the misuse of alcohol and other drugs within our region,” said Nancy Frank, chief executive officer of North Country Health Consortium, “and are fortunate to be able to integrate this program with our work with North Country youth.”

“Prime for Life” is an evidence-based practice that has demonstrated success in changing high-risk attitudes, drinking and drug use, and increasing abstinence with teens and adults. The program emphasizes inclusion and non-judgement.

Attendees are trained to create a safe environment for people to consider how their choices affect their lives and make educated decisions about substance use based on what they learn about their personal risk factors.

North Country Health Consortium sent staff members, Kristy Letendre, continuum of care coordinator for the North Country Regional Prevention Network, Chris St. Cyr, town of Berlin’s restorative justice program coordinator, and Annette Carbonneau, program manager/SAP supervisor, to the three-day training in Augusta Maine along with SAPs from the following seven schools: Gorham Middle-High School, Groveton High School, Woodsville High School, Lisbon High School, White Mountains Regional High School, North Country Charter Academy and White Mountains Community College.

Attendance to this training was funded by the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services’ Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services through a grant to the North Country Health Consortium.

The North Country Health Consortium is a non-profit public health organization based in Littleton that collaborates with health and human services providers serving northern New Hampshire. For more information about NCHC and the North Country Regional Prevention Network, go to nchcnh.org or call (603)259-3700.

Student Assistance ProfessionalsStudent Assistance Professionals (from left): Kattie McKinnon from White Mountains Regional High School, Jane King from Lisbon High School, Charlie Mae Johnson from Woodsville High School, Erik Becker from Groveton High School, Joy Burrill from Gorham High School and Georgia Caron from North Country Charter Academy, were part of the group that the North Country Health Consortium sent to “Prime for Life,” a three-day evidence-based substance misuse prevention training in Augusta, Maine, last month. (COURTESY PHOTO)