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Annie Dolan-Pelletier, former Program Manager at Day One and task force member in Maine, gives tips for states starting up.

Linda Williams, former Prevention Manager at Maine's Office of Substance Abuse, talks about finding Maine's "Champions".


Beginning to Mobilize | Recipe for Success | Challenges | What We Learned

Organizing the States: Beginning to Mobilize

From the beginning, our emphasis was to help create lasting changes in existing systems in the six New England states. We knew that we had a mere three years to interest states in the issue, mobilize key people, provide them with resources, and assist them in finding ways to permanently tweak their state prevention delivery systems to include inhalant abuse prevention. We took several first steps:

  • We got buy-in from state government. We targeted National Prevention Network Representatives in each state to sign on to this project to get immediate buy-in. We predicted that state prevention decision-makers were in a strong position to invite other key decision-makers to the table.

    “One of the other things I’m really proud of is the connections that we established with nontraditional prevention partners. In almost every state at this point, poison control people are talking to alcohol and drug prevention people in a way they never have before. And so that kind of partnership is exciting.”

    Neill Miner, former Executive Director, New England Institute of Addiction Studies

  • We recommended the formation of statewide inhalant task forces. The National Prevention Network Representatives began to pull together task forces, which evolved differently in each state to reflect the unique way each conducted the work of prevention.
  • We encouraged broad-based participation. We encouraged each state to work with non-traditional partners such as fire marshals and poison control centers.

“I think that anyone who really looks at what’s happening to middle school children will see that inhalant abuse is part of the underlying fire problem and burn problem for middle school kids.”

Jennifer Mieth, MA Fire Marshal’s Office

  • We looked for existing champions. We urged inhalant task forces to find existing champions for this issue, those who already knew about the issue, were passionate about it, and could articulate that to the others



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