The One Life Project – The Youth Voice
Contact: Daniel J. Perry
Assistant United States Attorney
Tel: (207) 780-3257
Portland, Maine: United States Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II announced today that on Tuesday, September 20, 2016, as part of National Heroin and Opioid Awareness Week -- designated by the Department of Justice as the week of September 19-23, 2016 -- Maine students from high schools throughout the state will be participating in “The One Life Project – The Youth Voice” at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, Maine. The Maine Principal’s Association, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maine, the Maine Attorney General’s Office, and the Bangor Daily News are sponsoring this one-day conference to bring together diverse groups of students from throughout the state and to provide them with an opportunity to talk about and have their voices heard on the issues of drug use and abuse.
Maine is in the throes of a public health crisis relating to the use and abuse of opioids, opiates and other substances. It is well recognized that effectively combatting this problem requires coordination of treatment, prevention, and law enforcement efforts. As part of this coordinated effort, the U.S. Attorney’s Office; Janet Mills, the Maine Attorney General; and John Morris, the Maine Commissioner of Public Safety formed the Maine Opiate Collaborative. This Collaborative brought together experts from the fields of treatment, prevention/harm reduction, and law enforcement to come up with recommendations to address the opiate epidemic. One key recommendation was to engage our youth in the prevention efforts.
The goal of this summit is to give our youth a forum to discuss the issues they see in their schools and communities and to solicit their ideas on solutions. Information gathered at the summit will be shared with state and federal leaders, and school administrators and personnel to help inform future decisions about prevention efforts.
The summit will start at 9:00 a.m. and should be completed by about 1:30 p.m. Members of the media wishing to report on the conference are invited to attend a press conference at the Cross Insurance Center at 12:45 p.m.