Mass Public Health Blog

Promoting public health & wellness in Massachusetts

Category Archives: Substance Abuse Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery

Providing a Supportive Environment for Students in Recovery Posted on Jun 17

Providing a Supportive Environment for Students in Recovery

Earlier this month, Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter hosted me for a wonderfully inspiring tour of Independence Academy, a DPH-funded Recovery High School located in his city. Since 2006, Massachusetts has been a leader in the development of these recovery high schools, which offer a safe,   …Continue Reading Providing a Supportive Environment for Students in Recovery

Taking Immediate Action to Fight Opioid Abuse Posted on Jun 11

Taking Immediate Action to Fight Opioid Abuse

On Tuesday I was delighted to join Governor Patrick to announce a series of concrete steps to address the opioid abuse epidemic in Massachusetts, focused on improving prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery services across the Commonwealth. These actions are based on a series of findings and   …Continue Reading Taking Immediate Action to Fight Opioid Abuse

DPH Kicks Off Town Hall Meetings to Address Underage Drinking and Prescription Drug Abuse Posted on Apr 15

DPH Kicks Off Town Hall Meetings to Address Underage Drinking and Prescription Drug Abuse

Last week, the Department hosted the first in a series of statewide Town Hall Meetings that will examine what can be done to prevent underage drinking and prescription drug abuse in the Commonwealth.  Bureau of Substance Abuse Services (BSAS) Director Hilary Jacobs was joined at the   …Continue Reading DPH Kicks Off Town Hall Meetings to Address Underage Drinking and Prescription Drug Abuse

Struggling with how to talk to your child about marijuana? Posted on Mar 13

Struggling with how to talk to your child about marijuana?

For many parents, recent changes to marijuana laws in Massachusetts have caused confusion about the legal status of marijuana – and made discussions with their children about the recreational use of marijuana more complicated. To address this issue, the Department’s Bureau of Substance Abuse Services   …Continue Reading Struggling with how to talk to your child about marijuana?

A Comprehensive Strategy to Fight Opioid Abuse Posted on Feb 26

A Comprehensive Strategy to Fight Opioid Abuse

Like so many other states, here in Massachusetts there can be no doubt that the use of opioids has reached epidemic proportions. The evidence is clear and compelling, as seen in terms of rising rates of fatal and non-fatal overdoses as well as trends in   …Continue Reading A Comprehensive Strategy to Fight Opioid Abuse

How much is too much? Posted on Jan 16

How much is too much?

In a report released Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlighted that alcohol screening and counseling is an effective but underused health service.  In fact, only 1 in 6 adults in the United States reported discussing alcohol use with a health professional.   …Continue Reading How much is too much?

A Choice of Festive Drink Recipes Posted on Dec 19

The holidays are upon us, which means lots of occasions to celebrate with family and friends. Are you planning to host a holiday gathering this year? If you are, in addition to choosing how to decorate your home and planning the menu, you get to   …Continue Reading A Choice of Festive Drink Recipes

DPH Announces 2,000th Narcan Reversal Posted on Sep 17

DPH Announces 2,000th Narcan Reversal

Yesterday, DPH staff was joined at the State House by Secretary of Health and Human Services John Polanowicz to announce the Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution Program has reported its 2,000th overdose reversal in six years of operation. Naloxone, also known as Narcan, blocks the   …Continue Reading DPH Announces 2,000th Narcan Reversal

Don’t Let the First Conversation about Drugs and Alcohol Be Your Last Posted on Aug 28

Don’t Let the First Conversation about Drugs and Alcohol Be Your Last

You probably have to remind your teenager a few times to do their homework or take out the trash.  The same goes for drugs and alcohol.  Remind your teen that alcohol and other drugs are unhealthy, even if you’ve already talked about it.  It might   …Continue Reading Don’t Let the First Conversation about Drugs and Alcohol Be Your Last

Try positive reinforcement to help prevent teens from using drugs or alcohol Posted on Aug 20

Try positive reinforcement to help prevent teens from using drugs or alcohol

When your teen improves their grades, or scores a run in their baseball game, do you congratulate them? Recognizing your kid’s accomplishments reinforces positive behaviors and has been shown to lower the likelihood they will use alcohol and other drugs. Many parents have found creative   …Continue Reading Try positive reinforcement to help prevent teens from using drugs or alcohol