Alcohol Misuse Prevention in Maine

Alcohol is the most widely misused substance in Maine by youth and adults. It remains one of our priorities to educate caregivers with the reasons not to provide alcohol to youth, to teach youth healthy alternatives for socialization and stress management, and to help the community understand how and why youth access to alcohol should be limited.

When it comes to alcoholic drinks, the size and amount of alcohol included varies widely, and means that one glassful can equal several servings of alcohol. When deciding to only drink a certain number of drinks in an evening, you should know how many “drinks” are in your glass! One beer can is generally 5% alcohol – so one “drink” would be one 12 oz beer. One shot of liquor – 1.5 oz – is equal to one drink. One mixed drink, assuming it has just one shot of liquor, is also 1.5 oz of alcohol and is equal to one drink.

Drinks are not equal chart


For Youth and Young Adults

Increasing community understanding of the effects and risks of substance use with educational outreach by our coalitions, statewide media campaigns.

Reducing youth access to alcohol by:

  • Providing law enforcement with support to hold liquor stores and dining establishments accountable
  • Supporting liquor license holders with tools to know their rights and responsibilities, like CARD ME guides that break down the process and importance of checking ID during alcohol sales.
  • Educating parents on safe storage of alcohol and using programs like Parents Who Host Lose the Most or Not in My House to address not providing alcohol to youth.  
  • Engaging youth in Sticker Shock programs that promote awareness to participants and to those purchasing alcohol. This program is used in many states to hold communities accountable to social hosting law.
    • Youth are recruited to mark the alcohol for sale in their local stores with bright stickers warning about:
      • The penalties for buying alcohol to minors
      • Creating a place to give youth advocacy for their communities
      • For local businesses to build a relationship with their public health voices
      • And to tell the community what choices will keep everyone safe
    • Stickers and bottle/door hangers are available to label alcohol packaging in retails spaces with messaging to promote responsible alcohol use.
    • The following guidelines are recommended when carrying out Sticker Shock Awareness:
    • Ask the store staff if they have any specific requests, expectations, or restrictions about where/how stickers and door hangers should be applied.
    • If packages must be moved to apply stickers, only adults over the age of 21 and/or store employees should handle the alcohol.
    • Stickers should be placed only on multi-packs. Do not sticker individual bottles or cans. Place only one sticker per multi-pack.
    • Stickers should not cover brand names or bar codes.
    • Youth should be supervised by adults (chaperones and store staff) at all times in the store.
    • The bottle/door hangers can be placed over wine and liquor bottle necks, used as bag stuffers when alcohol is purchased, on cooler doors where alcohol is displayed, or displayed elsewhere in the store.

Support school policies by:

For Adults

Implementing media campaigns like Party Smarter to increase awareness of the immediate negative consequences of binge drinking and how to create a plan to stay safe.

Promoting training for liquor licensees and their employees like Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) or TIPS trainings to improve knowledge and skills on when and how to check customer identification, how to spot fake identification, and how to avoid selling alcohol to intoxicated people.

Promote trainings and toolkits to employers about the influence a workplace culture can have on substance use for adults and minors, like the Healthy US Scorecard and SAMHSA’s Drug-Free Workplace Toolkit

Offering family education and support services free of stigma for expecting mothers and families about alcohol use and its effects on infants and the home.


Party Smarter – Seeks to provide an example of what healthy adult consumption of alcohol should look like, and tips for how to keep an evening fun and free of regrets. The three guidelines Plan, Prepare, and Pace are outlined to help keep adults in charge of their evenings and their fun.

PLAN: Where are you going? Who with? How are you getting home?

PREPARE: Eat, drink water, and make sure you take just enough money for a safe evening. Leave the credit cards at home!

PACE: Limit how much you drink in a night and learn about standard servings of alcohol to correctly count how many “drinks” you have.

Times Have Changed  - Addresses how substance use has evolved over time to keep parents current and informed.

Substance Exposed Infants – Educates on the risk of alcohol and other substance use during pregnancy and infant care.


The guidelines put forth by the Responsible Retailing forum and other leading intelligence and recommendations led Maine to create the CARD ME guide, which educates liquor license holders in how, when, and why to check ID in the sale of alcohol and other age-controlled substances. The guide is a voluntary set of directions for creating sustainable and successful policies in a store or restaurant to ensure alcohol sales are kept legal and safe, for the betterment of the community and the reputation of the business. View the FOR MORE INFORMATION section for materials and information.


Dirigo Safety – In addition to other law enforcement education, Dirigo Safety coordinates compliance checks by local law enforcement, ensuring that retailers follow safety procedures during alcohol sales

Adcare Educational Institute of MaineAdcare provides continuing education credits to preventionists on an array of public health topics, from substance misuse, gambling, suicide prevention, and current evidence-based prevention strategies for communities.

Maine Prevention Services – Headquartered with the University of New England, Maine SUPS is funded by the Maine CDC to lead and coordinate the 20 local agency partners who carry out prevention programming directly in Maine communities.

Our 20 Domain 1 Subrecipient CoalitionsThese are the partners engaging parents, youth, and everyone in our daily lives with the information and inspiration they need to help keep their communities protected and informed.

Substance Exposed Infants Taskforce - Seeks to include dozens of perspectives from the birthing and substance use disorder fields, as well as those who aid women suffering from homelessness and domestic violence. Together, this group looks to create recommendations and resources where they are most needed.

Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations (BABLO) – Reach out to BABLO for resources and information on holding a liquor license and how to responsibly check IDs and make safe, legal alcohol sales.


211 Maine – Call, Text, or visit 211 online for the largest database available that connecting people to services and public health information. All outreach is free and confidential. 

Alcohol Screening -This online quiz is a tool for reviewing your drinking habits and how they may affect your health and the health of your loved ones.

Maine Liquor Law – Use this page to review Title 28-A, Maine’s liquor laws and restrictions around public consumption, underaged drinking, providing alcohol to minors, and more.

Maine Office for Alcoholics Anonymous – Locate a meeting near you.

CACDA - Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) is a support system for substance use prevention coalitions, offering resources, strategies, and success stories to reach every age group and culture.

Maine SEOW Dashboard – The State Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroup (SEOW) dashboard outlines

current data and trends in substance use in the state of Maine. It is a great resource for understanding the risks for your children, your community, and yourself.

NOFAS – The National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum (NOFAS) is provides discussion tools and resources for families who need help or would like more information.

Party Smarter Campaign Toolkit – This Dropbox is available with the official images and social media copy from the Party Smarter campaign so these important messages can be shared on your pages.

Rethinking Drinking - Offers valuable, research-based information for anyone who drinks. Offers clarity on what counts as a drink, the lasting effects of alcohol in the system, and more.

Maine Prevention Store - This site contains free print materials and digital downloads designed to improve health and help to prevent tobacco use, substance use, and suicide in Maine.

General Contact:

  • Tobacco and Substance Use Prevention and Control
  • Phone: (207) 287-4627
  • E-mail:
  • TTY: Maine relay 711