Birch Lane Strategies provides trainings and workshops as well as ongoing technical assistance to coalitions, community organizations, healthcare practices, cities and towns.  

Technical Assistance:

Birch Lane Strategies provides assistance to organizations, coalitions, and communities to assess, build capacity, plan, implement, and evaluation evidenced-based strategies to prevent and reduce substance misuse and utilize restorative trauma-informed approaches to solving public health problems. We also provide assistance writing policy and engaging community members in the policy making process.

Trainings & Workshops:

The Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) on Addiction and Prevention:

Participants will learn about the research on ACEs, its impact on brain development and how it increases the risk of youth substance use and substance use disorders in adults.  Participants will be asked to consider ways of incorporating this research into their thinking about addiction and work collaboratively to find ways of incorporating a trauma-informed approach to prevention strategies. Audience:  Prevention Coalition members and staff

Parenting During the Risk Taking Years: Adolescent Brain Development and the Way of the Confident Parent

Participants will learn the most recent information on adolescent brain development and are given the opportunity to discuss parenting during the risk-taking years.  Participants will get a glimpse into what is happening in the adolescent brain that often drives them towards risk, learn what experiences can make them more likely to take risks, and explore how parents, other supportive adults and the community can help keep them safe. Audience: Parents 

Using a Trauma-Informed Approach to Reduce Problematic Marijuana Use:

Marijuana is now legal for medicinal and recreational use among adults in many states. People who work with young adults and adults who use marijuana regularly and are experiencing mental health problems, are finding themselves having difficult conversations about the harms of regular marijuana use especially as it relates to mental health. This workshop explores the latest information on how marijuana impacts the brain, the role trauma plays in increasing the risk of problematic marijuana use, as well as trauma-informed strategies for reducing problematic marijuana use.  Participants will engage in small group work to build their knowledge and skills for having difficult conversations about marijuana grounded in the practice of motivational interviewing. Audience:  people working with adults experiencing mental health problems

Achieving Equitable Community Development:  Creating a restorative trauma-informed approach in environmental community development organizations.

Workshop co-led with Kate O’Brien, Director of Capacity Building at Groundwork USA and Ronda Chapman, Consultant at RL Chapman Consulting 

Strengthening Connections: knitting together substance use prevention in schools, communities, and healthcare.

 Schools, communities and healthcare practices across Maine are working hard to reduce the heavy burden being caused by substance use disorders.  While many people are working hard to improve the community and healthcare response to overdoses and increase treatment and recovery services, there are also substantial efforts underway to prevent substance use disorders from forming.  Participants will learn what schools and communities are doing to implement best practices strategies to prevent people from having substance use disorders and how those efforts connect with prevention in the healthcare setting. The objectives are to:

  • Provide the latest research on evidenced-based strategies to prevent substance use disorders.

  • Provide information on what schools and communities are doing for prevention.

  • Discuss ways healthcare practices and providers can connect their prevention efforts with those in the community.

Additional topics covered in the webinar are opiate misuse prevention, prevention of early use of substances, and the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences on a person’s risk of problematic substance use.   Audience: health care


Ensuring LGBTQ people are on the prevention radar: 

People who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, or Queer, are at increased risk for using substances as young people and for developing a substance use disorder.  This workshop will provide information on why they are at increased risk and how they have been targeted by tobacco and alcohol retailers.  Participants will be offered tools to reach LGBTQ people and will discuss ways of using the tools to ensure prevention strategies are having an impact on LGBTQ substance use. Audience:  Prevention coalition members and staff


Using a Restorative, Trauma-Informed Approach to Youth Marijuana Use:

Marijuana is now legal for medicinal and recreational use among adults in many states. People who work with youth are finding themselves not knowing how to handle difficult conversations with young people and their parents about the harms of marijuana vs. the possible therapeutic effects. This workshop explores the latest information on marijuana and how it impacts young people as well as restorative and trauma-informed strategies that are most likely to prevent and reduce youth use. Participants will engage in small group work to build their knowledge and skills for having difficult conversations and to make a strategic plan for incorporating a restorative trauma-informed approach to prevention within their organization.  Audience: Schools, youth serving organizations, prevention coalitions

Preventing and responding to youth substance use:

This workshop engages school staff in the basics of brain development, how young people are impacted by substance use and strategies staff and administrators can use to prevent and respond to youth substance use in effective ways.  Participants will have the opportunity to work through real scenarios in small groups. Audience:  school staff