Empowering Prevention: Insights from the 2024 Alcohol Misuse Prevention Conference 

by | Apr 25, 2024 | Featured, Happening Now, Prevention | 0 comments

Tracy and Ashley, dedicated members of the Makin’ It Happen team, recently embarked on a mission to delve into the complexities of alcohol misuse prevention among emerging adults. Their journey led them to the vibrant setting of the 2024 Alcohol Misuse Prevention Conference in Augusta, Maine, where minds convened to strategize, learn, and empower. 

Although Augusta is a two-hour drive past state lines, many NH coalitions were represented, including NH Teen Institute’s Program Manager, Maura McGowan, who sat with Makin’ It Happen team members. The team also reunited with a past trainer from Makin’ It Happen’s Youth Leadership Training, Nigel Wrangham, who presented on the topic ‘Overcoming Adultism in Prevention’. The conference sparked insightful conversations on the evolving landscape of youth engagement and empowerment. 

Throughout the day, the conference explored a myriad of critical topics, each shedding light on key aspects of effective prevention strategies. From discussions on self-regulation techniques used by the U.S. Army to highlighting the profound impact of addressing adult behavior modeling, every session was a testament to the collective dedication to fostering healthier communities. The team members saw alcohol misuse trends in Maine and discussed the comparisons in numbers also seen in New Hampshire. The conference boasted five presentations with speakers ranging from Maine’s CDC to Maine’s National Guard.  

One particularly resonant presentation titled “The Power of Youth,” led by Dover Youth2Youth, encapsulated the essence of the conference. The group worked with youth advocates from Maine during the conference’s youth track and educated the group on presentation skills and shared materials such as Radio and Television PSA’s. The presentation underscored the pivotal role that young voices play in driving change, challenging norms, and inspiring action. Through their impassioned advocacy and innovative approaches, youth are not just the beneficiaries of prevention efforts but also the architects of lasting transformation. 

Tracy and Ashley departed with a newfound sense of purpose and determination. The insights gleaned from the conference reinforced their commitment to championing prevention initiatives and fostering collaboration across communities. They left inspired by the collective efforts of individuals and organizations dedicated to creating a brighter, healthier future for all.  

In the ever-evolving landscape of prevention, conferences like these serve as catalysts for progress, igniting dialogue, fostering connections, and empowering change-makers to make a tangible difference. Together, we can continue to build upon these foundations, creating a world where prevention is not just a goal but a lived reality for generations to come. Makin’ It Happen would like to thank AdCare Educational Institute of Maine Inc. and Maine CDC for opening their event for participants beyond the Maine border. 

Join us in our journey to empower and discover prevention together and pave the way for a brighter tomorrow. 

Stay tuned for more updates and insights from the frontlines of prevention. 

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Written by Ashley Bachert | Community Impact Project Assistant & Communications Coordinator | April 25, 2024