In 2015, community leaders including Bridgton Police Chief Rick Stillman, Crooked River Counseling CEO Catherine Bell, Community Activist George Brandt, and Bridgton Internal Medicine physician Dr. Peter Leighton got together to talk about the growing opioid crisis in the greater Bridgton community. Shortly thereafter, a community meeting was convened for citizens to learn about public health and safety issues of concern.
A small group of interested citizens continued to meet with these leaders, building on the initial discussion and adding ideas for community action. This group formed the Lakes Region Substance Abuse Coalition (LRSAC). Energetic volunteers from many sectors and towns began working together, identifying problems and opportunities to mitigate them.
Our name was changed to Lakes Region Substance Awareness Coalition in the Fall of 2018 as a result of community input and after participating in an anti-stigma campaign.