The work of the Coalition is intended to involve all parts of our community. There are 12 specific “sectors” which must be included according to the federal regulations that guide us.
· Business Community
· Healthcare Professionals
· Law Enforcement
· Faith Community
· Civic or Volunteer Groups
· State or Local Government Agencies
· Youth-Serving Organizations
· Other Organizations with Expertise in Substance Abuse
Anyone who has an interest in protecting the teens in South Hadley and taking an active part in the work is welcome to join us. Some people might want to help with a particular strategy or activity as their time permits, while others might prefer the continuity of attending meetings regularly.
What Are Some Strategies?
The Coalition has undertaken many different strategies over the years. The “Safe Ride Contract” was developed over 10 years ago to provide a way for parents to help their teens get out of a risky situation. The permanent medication drop-box was established in our Police Station lobby in 2009 by the Director of our Board of Health and has become the model used throughout the Commonwealth. Public Service Announcements have been developed for our cable TV station. Coalition members sit at a table at different town events and distribute educational information. Youth members take part in positive activities like Safety Night or the Winter Carnival or FallsFest. Our School Resource Officer has paired with a Science teacher to hold a “Drunk Goggles” demonstration before the Prom for several years. Students have conducted retail compliance checks; have done tobacco surveys, activities for The Great American Smoke-Out, and have taken part in Kick Butts Day activities in Boston. Our High School Principal has championed changes to our Student Handbook which have broadened the consequences for violations of the school anti-substance use policies. Our faith community members have helped to organize a presentation on Spirituality and Recovery. This is just a partial list; we are doing new things every year.
How To Get Involved
· Simply come to a meeting of the Coalition.
· Sign up on the “Contact” page so you can receive ongoing announcements.
· Read some past Minutes so you can learn what we have been doing.
· If you have a High School student, include your family in the Safe Homes Directory.
· Visit the Coalition Facebook page and look through for the most recent updates.
Meetings take place from September through June but there is no February meeting. The meetings are held on the 2nd Wednesday of the month at the High School library at 6:30 pm. Sometimes a special event will replace a regular meeting and may be held at a different time which is well publicized. Meetings are free and open to the public.
Massachusetts Substance Abuse Help-line
Link to a resource on Raising Transgender Youth
The Impact Report from Colorado
The Impact Report from Oregon
The Western MA Bureau of Substance Abuse Services Directory
Link to the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA) website
Link to the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website
Link to the Channel 22 broadcast "In Focus" with a panel discussion on marijuana issues
A Current Report on Marijuana Data link