Communities Addressing Addiction

A woman speaking at a public forum

Municipalities have an important role to play in addressing the impacts of substance use disorders. To help, the Greater Portland Council of Governments (GPCOG) has developed the Communities Addressing Addiction & Opioid Misuse Project. This regional initiative is providing municipal leaders with the knowledge and support they need to guide effective, community-wide strategies. Working with public health consultant Liz Blackwell-Moore, GPCOG created a model approach for educating decision-making and spurring action. The approach has been piloted in Falmouth, Gorham, and Portland (currently under way). GPCOG has also created a toolkit as a guide for other communities.

This work was made possible with funding from the Maine Health Access Foundation, the Bingham Program, the Cumberland District Public Health Council, and the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.


The project seeks to:

  • Expand municipal leaders’ understanding of the root causes of opioid addiction - including Adverse Childhood Experiences - and engage them as champions for comprehensive, evidence-based solutions in their communities.
  • Increase the adoption and implementation of evidence-based policies and practices in Cumberland County municipalities.

Model Approach

Appointed and elected municipal leaders – including managers, superintendents, police chiefs, recreation directors, as well as council, select board and school board members – are key to determining both the practices and policies of a municipality. By bringing the Communities Addressing Addiction & Opioid Misuse Project to your city or town, you will support municipal leaders with the knowledge and tools needed to guide effective, community-wide strategies. The project has three components with related activities: Planning; Hosting the Workshop; and Action Planning and Implementation. 

Toolkit for Cities and Towns

This toolkit provides all the materials and communications needed to implement the project in your municipality. Additionally, a bibliography of the research used to create the approach can be found in Appendix A.