April 3, 2021
By offering programs that intend to provide our communities with knowledge and understanding, it’s my hope that we can erase the stigma surrounding addiction and recovery and offer help to those who are suffering.
Prime for Life (PFL) is a Nationally Accredited Program that provides evidence based research about addiction prevention. I can’t wait to provide in person learning because there’s a level of depth you can reach through in person connection that’s hard to accomplish behind screens.
I was certified as an instructor in March of 2020 and everything thus far has been virtual. I work full time with the Coastal Healthy Communities Coalition and felt the PFL programs were in line with everything we do. These programs can be applied to any age group, and our focus is on youth, young adults and parents.
Our goal is to use the 4-6 hour class as a leadership program where attendees can become role models for their peers. We’ve seen clubs in schools whose focus is substance use prevention and awareness, and the PFL program covers a broad range of topics focusing on values. We try to uncover the things attendees value most and how they protect those things so everyone’s experience is different. There is no judgement in the program which allows attendees to express their thoughts, concerns and misperceptions freely.
I’m very passionate about public health, so much so that I completed both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in it. I also teach Intro to Epidemiology at the University of New England. I must admit though, when I was working towards my certification for PFL, I learned a lot of new things surrounding addiction risks, shifts in behaviors and personality traits.
The value of these programs is immeasurable. The knowledge provided helps kids, parents and teachers learn how to approach a topic that is often seen as shameful in society, and also uncovers how they can better help their communities.
- Tricia Cote: Coastal Healthy Communities Coalition