Showing posts with label Substance abuse. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Substance abuse. Show all posts

Sunday, July 7, 2019

In the News: vaping help for teens; kids day at the Franklin 4th

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"Massachusetts is one of nine states participating in a program to help teenagers stop using electronic cigarettes. Some call vaping a health “epidemic” that must be stopped.

Statistics show the phenomenon known as “vaping” is a health problem for teenagers in MetroWest, and a new multi-state program hopes to give them the tools to quit.

Called “My Life, My Quit,” teenagers can text or call a toll-free number, 1-855-891-9989, to get connected with a coach for five sessions of personalized support. Those sessions can be done through live texting, phone or online chat. The goal is to build a plan to quit tobacco and vaping - the term used to describe puffing on electronic cigarettes."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Visit My Life My Quit for more info

Visit My Life My Quit for more info
Visit My Life My Quit for more info

"With her hair tucked into a white bonnet and gold sequins sparkling on her red, white and blue dress, Georgette Glavin, who turns 4 next week, surveyed the Franklin Town Common from her star-spangled stroller, outfitted with American flags and tinsel.

Minutes later, Georgette, embodying Betsy Ross, held a tiny gold trophy in her hands, as she and her 8-month-old cousin, Caroline Chagnon - tucked into a Statue of Liberty costume fashioned from a green bed sheet - had won first place in the July 4 Children’s Bike parade, sponsored by the Franklin Lions Club. Second place went to Aria Julian while third place was garnered by Amelia Collins.

“What better person to be than Betsy Ross?” asked Georgette’s grandmother, Kim Donahue, explaining the inspiration behind the costumes she helped design. “Now it’s time for Popsicles.”
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Groove Doctors performing Friday night at the 4th of July Celebration
Groove Doctors performing Friday night at the 4th of July Celebration

Sunday, June 30, 2019

School Committee Recap: June 25, 2019

The Franklin, MA School Committee meeting on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 was one of the shortest in recent times (at least of this School Committee term) commencing at 7:00 and completing before 7:40 PM. While short on time, there was a long listing of info shared.

The Superintendent's Report included this item on the summer project work to be done at the schools.

"Summer Projects
Summer is a big time for projects to occur, which can not be accommodated during the schoolyear. This year, we anticipate the following projects will be worked on:
  1. First set of security improvements at selected schools (HMMS/Oak/ECDC; DT andParmenter)
  2. Parmenter canopy structural repairs
  3. HMMS/Oak/ECDC courtyard drainage repairs
  4. Keller-Sullivan Gas fired rooftop units
Ongoing maintenance and upkeep of both indoor and outdoor spaces."

The full Superintendent's Report can be found online

Asst Superintendent Lucas Giguere provided the final reports on the activity during the year for both the Substance Abuse Task Force and the School Wellness Advisory Committee. The one page summaries for both can be found here:
  • Substance Abuse
  • School Wellness

Revised school calendar for 2019-2020 school year

My notes reported live during the meeting:
Live reporting: Information Matters through to Cl...

Live reporting: School Committee - Discussion/Acti...

Live reporting: School Committee - June 25, 2019

raised garden beds at Davis Thayer
raised garden beds at Davis Thayer

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - June 25, 2019

Vision Statement
The Franklin Public Schools will foster within its students the knowledge and skills to find and achieve satisfaction in life as productive global citizens.

“The listing of matters are those reasonably anticipated by the Chair which may be discussed at the meeting. Not all items listed may in fact be discussed and other items not listed may also be brought up for discussion to the extent permitted by law.”

1. Routine Business
a. Review of Agenda
b. Citizen’s Comments
i. In the spirit of open communication, “the School Committee will hear public comment not related to an agenda item at the beginning of each regular School Committee Meeting. The Committee will listen to, but not respond to any comment made. A Committee member may add an agenda item to a future meeting as a result of a citizen comment” – from Policy BEDH
c. FHS Student Representative Comments
d. Superintendent’s Report

2. Guests / Presentations
a. none

3. Discussion / Action Items
a. Policy – Second Reading/Adoption
I recommend adoption of Policy BGC – Policy Review and Revision as detailed.
b. Revised 2019-2020 School Calendar
I recommend approval of the revised 2019-2020 School Calendar as discussed.

4. Discussion Only Items
a. Annual Report
b. School Wellness Advisory Council (SWAC) – End of Year Report
c. Substance Abuse Task Force (SATF) – End of Year Report

5. Information Matters
a. School Committee Sub-Committee Reports (e.g. Budget; Community Relations; Policy; Transportation; Public Schools Advocacy; Ad Hoc Superintendent’s Evaluation)

b. School Committee Liaison Reports (e.g. Joint PCC; Substance Abuse Task Force; School Wellness Advisory Council [SWAC]; School Start Times Advisory Committee [SSTAC], MASC)

6. New Business
a. To discuss any future agenda items

7. Consent Agenda
a. Minutes
I recommend approval of the Minutes from your June 11, 2019 School Committee meeting as detailed.
b. Executive Session Minutes
I recommend approval of the Executive Session Minutes from your June 11, 2019 School Committee meeting to be released.
c. Transfers
I recommend approval of the Budget Transfers as detailed.
d. Solutions Program Gift
I recommend acceptance of a check for $250.00 from the Franklin Cultural Council for supplemental supplies for the Solutions Program as detailed.
e. ECDC Gift
I recommend acceptance of a check for $5,000.00 from Big Y Foods for supplemental supplies at ECDC as detailed.
f. Parmenter Gift
I recommend acceptance of a check for $650.00 from the Parmenter PCC for inhouse enrichment as detailed.
g. Athletics Gift
I recommend acceptance of a check for $650.00 from the FHS Class of 1967 for in-house enrichment for the Athletics Program.

8. Payment of Bills Dr. Bergen

9. Payroll Mrs. Douglas

10. Correspondence – none

11. Executive Session
a. Pursuant to M.G.L. c. 30A, §21(a)(3) to discuss strategy with respect to collective bargaining with the FEA as an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the bargaining position of the School Committee and the chair so declares.

12. Adjournment

The agenda document can be found on the Town of Franklin page

The documents released for this meeting (before and after) can be found

the gardens are growing at Davis Thayer (taken June 8, 2019)
the gardens are growing at Davis Thayer (taken June 8, 2019)

Monday, February 18, 2019

There is "Always Hope" a sober house for women

She wrote me to say: "So if any Franklin residents have daughters, sisters, mothers that need a sober house and want to be close to home this is a perfect fit!"

And that would be?

What makes it special? "This is a room at Always Hope. It’s called Caroline’s room and she was from Franklin.

I did not doubt her, and sure enough on the About page:
"The first house is located at #1 Franklin Avenue and called “Sweet Caroline’s House”. This house is named after Caroline D’Amelio, who struggled with an eating disorder and addiction. Caroline was a vibrant young lady who had an energy for life that was surpassed by few. She was active, fun, energetic, but most importantly kind. Her kindness was evident in her beautiful smile and in her desire for others to be happy. 
Caroline would never want to see anyone in need and would always be there to help if she could. During Caroline’s struggle with addiction she was at her best at the Windhaven sober house in Dallas, Texas, where she found her faith and led a productive life for over a year. It is in Caroline’s memory and loving spirit that this house is dedicated."
Visit the web page to donate, or to apply for residence

There is "Always Hope" a sober house for women
There is "Always Hope" a sober house for women

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Representative Roy Named to Harm Reduction Commission

Representative Jeffrey N. Roy (D-Franklin) was named to the Harm Reduction Commission by House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo and Rep. Denise Garlick, Chair of the Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery. The commission was included as part of Chapter 208 of the Acts of 2018, legislation which addresses prevention and access to appropriate care and treatment of addiction. The commission will review and make recommendations regarding harm reduction opportunities to address substance use disorder.

“Representative Roy is an innovative and thoughtful legislator with demonstrated, in-depth knowledge of both healthcare and the law. We’re proud that he was named to this commission as he will bring value to its work,” said Speaker DeLeo. “He has been a steadfast supporter of the recovery community and has focused on combatting the opioid crisis and improving our healthcare system to best meet the needs of patients. We appreciate his dedication and service to our Commonwealth.”

"I am excited to join the commission and continue working toward the goal of helping those with substance use disorders find a pathway to recovery,” said Representative Roy. "The findings from the commission’s report will be important in addressing this issue at the local and state level and will provide meaningful opportunities for our residents who are struggling with addiction."

“The harm reduction commission will take a closer look at how to engage people at all stages of substance use disorder and encourage recovery,” said State Representative Denise C. Garlick (D-Needham), Chair of the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery. "Representative Roy is a member of the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery and has been a dedicated, compassionate advocate for his district and a leader with experience and insight through the enactment of the opioid bill. Representative Roy is committed to helping individuals who are suffering, families who are struggling and communities straining to meet the many needs of people of all ages dealing with the issues of addiction. I believe his perspective will be invaluable to the people of his district and to the Commission’s work.”

The commission consists of 15 members, including the secretary of health and human services; the commissioner of public health; house and senate members of the joint committee on mental health, substance use and recovery or their designees; the mayor of the city of Boston or a designee; the mayor of the city of Cambridge or a designee; and representatives from the Massachusetts Medical Society, the Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association, and the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association. It also includes persons with a substance use disorder, a clinician with experience in mental health and substance use disorder, a person working in an established harm reduction program, an expert in relevant state and federal law and regulation, and a representative of local municipal boards of health. 

In its work, the Commission will consider:
  • the feasibility of operating harm reduction sites in which (A) a person with a substance use disorder may consume pre-obtained controlled substances, (B) medical assistance by health care professionals is made immediately available to a person with a substance use disorder as necessary to prevent fatal overdose, and (C) counseling, referrals to treatment and other appropriate services are available on a voluntary basis;
  • the potential public health and public safety benefits and risks of harm reduction sites;
  • the potential federal, state and local legal issues involved with establishing harm reduction sites;
  • appropriate guidance that would be necessary and required for professional licensure boards and any necessary changes to the regulations of such boards;
  • existing harm reduction efforts in the commonwealth and whether there is potential for collaboration with existing public health harm reduction organizations;
  • opportunities to maximize public health benefits, including educating persons utilizing the sites of the risks of contracting HIV and viral hepatitis and on proper disposal of hypodermic needles and syringes;
  • ways to support persons utilizing the sites who express an interest in seeking substance use disorder treatment, including providing information on evidence-based treatment options and direct referral to treatment providers;
  • other harm reduction opportunities, including but not limited to, broadening the availability of narcotic testing products, including fentanyl test strips;
  • alternatives and recommendations to broaden the availability of naloxone without prescription; and
  • other matters deemed appropriate by the commission.

The Commission will also review the experiences and results of other states and countries that have established supervised drug consumption sites and other harm reduction strategies and report on the impact of those harm reduction sites and strategies.

The Commission’s first meeting is scheduled for October 24, 2018 and its findings and recommendations are due to the legislature by February 1st, 2019.

Please contact the office of Representative Roy with any questions or concerns at (617) 722-2430 or

Representative Roy Named to Harm Reduction Commission
Representative Roy Named to Harm Reduction Commission

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Franklin Police receive grant to get impaired drivers off the road

The Franklin Police will increase the number of impaired driving patrols on local roads after being awarded a special grant from the Highway Safety Division (HSD) of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS). The Franklin Police department will join more than 200 local police departments across the state and the state police in the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement mobilization.

This year’s campaign will include the impairment marijuana causes in drivers – and the exponentially increased impairment caused when alcohol and marijuana are combined.

Drivers who have had too much to drink or ingested marijuana are a menace to everyone on the road with them. “This grant funding will allow us to add patrols to specifically target impaired driving, with the goal of increasing the safety for entire community of Franklin” said Chief Thomas J. Lynch

“There is clear evidence that drivers who have used marijuana, especially in combination with alcohol, are significantly impaired,” said Jeff Larason, Director of the Highway Safety Division. “We are urging motorists to plan ahead for a sober ride home by using public transportation, a ride-sharing service or a designated driver. Do not put yourself and each person in the car and on the road with you at risk.”

Massachusetts Data

  • Marijuana or marijuana-type drugs were the most prevalent types of drugs found in people killed in crashes from 2010 to 2014.
  • From 2013 to 2014, alcohol impaired driving fatalities increased 14 percent (125 to 143).
  • From 2010-2014, 77 percent of impaired drivers in fatal crashes were men.
  • From 2010-2014, 46 percent of all alcohol-related driver fatalities were ages 21 to 34.

National Data

  • NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) reported that drugs were present in 40 percent of the fatally-injured drivers with a known test result, almost the same level as alcohol.
  • NHTSA’s 2013–2014 roadside survey found drugs in 22 percent of all drivers both on weekend nights and on weekdays.
  • Drivers using marijuana demonstrated decreased car handling performance, increased reaction times, impaired time and distance estimation, sleepiness and decreased motor skill coordination (NHTSA).
  • Mixing alcohol and marijuana may dramatically produce effects greater than either drug on its own (NHTSA).

Franklin Police receive grant to get impaired drivers off the road
Franklin Police receive grant to get impaired drivers off the road

This was shared from the Town of Franklin Police Dept webpage

Thursday, August 10, 2017

#opioidFranklin: Not An Emergency?

The opioid problem needs to be addressed on multiple fronts. The SAFE Coalition is working hard locally to provide help. Representative Roy and others in the MA legislature are working that avenue. This group is working on the the national level and can use your support.

Facing Addiction

Yesterday, the President of the United States suggested there would be a big announcement related to the ongoing opioid crisis. But what he said was more of the same – continuing the same, tired rhetoric, without any of the bold action this issue demands and that he promised on the campaign trail. 

President Trump even suggested going back to a simple, 1980's-style message "Just Say No," and telling young people alcohol and other drugs are bad is the best path forward. That didn't work then and it will not work now. We need real solutions.

Addiction is Not A Crime

The Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. Tom Price, stated that, despite the recommendations of their own Commission on the Opioid Crisis, it was not necessary to declare addiction a national emergency. "We believe that, as this point, that the resources that we need, or the focus that we need to bring to bear to the opioid crisis at this point can be addressed without the declaration of an emergency, although all things are on the table for the President," Price said.

Not necessary to declare an emergency? Mr. President, and Secretary Price, with all due respect – if you don't see this issue as an emergency, you haven't been paying attention to the recommendations of your OWN Presidential Appointed Commission! Or every major newspaper, TV news program, and radio news program in the country.

Friends, let's force the administration to pay attention. Let's come together as we have so many times before. Please, add your name with thousands of others in support of President Trump acting on his Commission's recommendation to declare a national emergency. Once you do, please pass the letter on to your networks via your social media pages or email. Let's make our voices so loud and clear that they can't possibly ignore us. Let's be a bold and powerful constituency of consequence on this life and death matter.

I hope you'll add your name by clicking here and showing them just how wrong they are.

Warm regards,

Michael King 
Director of Outreach and Engagement

Donate Now
Facing Addiction is a national non-profit organization dedicated to unifying the voice of the more than 45 million Americans and their families directly impacted by addiction. |
100 Mill Plain Road, 3rd Floor Danbury, CT 06811
Facing Addiction

Monday, April 3, 2017

In the News: The Other Talk scheduled; Alpine Place and Ruggles St

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"The high school will host later this month a talk that will help parents address the issues of substance and alcohol abuse with their teens. 
The program, titled "The Other Talk," is set to take place on Wednesday, April 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the school's lecture hall. The talk was designed by the treatment center Caron's Student Assistance Program, and sponsored by Norfolk County District Attorney Michael Morrissey. 
David Traub, a spokesman for the district attorney's office, said the talk, funded through the drunk driving trust fund, is intended to help parents as their children reach age 1."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"Two streets near Franklin's downtown - Alpine Place and Ruggles Street - once served as the heart of an Italian-American neighborhood in town. 
Mary Olsson, the chairwoman of the Franklin Historical Commission, said the streets - especially Alpine Place - drew many newcomers to town, creating a vibrant community that is still remembered today." It seems all the old Franklin Italian names first came to Franklin and settled on Alpine Place," she said. 
Jeanne D'Orazio Curry said her family lived on the street, adding that it had once seemed jam-packed. "For such a small, little street, it had a gazillion people," she said, noting that big families were common years ago. "My grandparents had 11 children, and one of them died (very young)".
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Thursday, December 15, 2016

S.A.F.E. presents Resource Manual to First Providers

Representatives of S.A.F.E. Coalition’s Board of Directors and Advisory Council met with area police and fire department personnel on December 2 at the Wrentham Public Safety Facility to distribute the First Edition of the Resource Booklet “WHAT DO WE DO NOW?: Navigating The Substance Abuse System in Massachusetts.” 
“WHAT DO WE DO NOW?: Navigating The Substance Abuse System in Massachusetts.”
“WHAT DO WE DO NOW?: Navigating
The Substance Abuse System in Massachusetts.”

Police from Franklin, Medway, Walpole, Plainville, Wrentham, Foxboro, Millis Police Departments and Massachusetts State Police as well as Franklin and Wrentham Fire Departments were present. 

Guests and members of the S.A.F.E. Coalition were introduced by Michelle Kelley (Clerk-Magistrate of the Wrentham Court and Member, S.A.F.E. Advisory Council) and including Steve Spiewakowski (S.A.F.E. Board member; Wrentham Court Probation Officer), Leslie Hazeldine (Assistant Clerk-Magistrate and Member, S.A.F.E. Advisory Council), Rep. Shawn Dooley (Member, S.A.F.E. Advisory Council) and Jordan Warnick (Secretary, S.A.F.E. Board of Directors).

Both Michelle Kelley and Steve Spiewakowski explained that the manual was developed by S.A.F.E. volunteers in consultation with area first responders and with the express intent of having them distributed by first responders to loved ones when they are called to the scene of a non-fatal opioid overdose. 

These easy to understand manuals contain a wealth of information on the many complicated and often confusing aspects of the Substance Abuse treatment system in Massachusetts, as well as resources for families and individuals affected by Substance Use Disorder (SUD). The goal is to assist loved ones in more easily navigating and understanding the signs of abuse and the steps taken in treatment, as well as ongoing support for all. It is expected that Resource Manual would be updated based on feedback from first responders.

“The need for these resource booklets is immense as the addiction crises continues unabated. These booklets will serve as an invaluable resource for those personally battling the disease of addiction and their loved ones as they navigate the sometimes-complex system of treatment services that are available in our area and throughout the Commonwealth. 
It answers many of the common questions people ask regarding addiction, but more importantly it provides treatment options, resources and contacts to obtain additional information and assistance. The SAFE Coalition has provided a much needed and tremendous resource to the communities it serves."
Chief T.J. Lynch, Franklin

Dr. Jordan Warnick, Walpole Chief of Police John Carmichael, Trooper Kevin Collins, State Representative Shawn Dooley,  Walpole Officer Billy Madden, Stephen Spiewakowski, Franklin Officer John Maloney
L to R: Dr. Jordan Warnick, Walpole Chief of Police John Carmichael, Trooper Kevin Collins, State Representative Shawn Dooley,  Walpole Officer Billy Madden, Stephen Spiewakowski, Franklin Officer John Maloney


S.A.F.E. is a coalition of community partners who have come together to provide support, education, treatment options, and coping mechanisms for those affected by substance abuse disorder. We do so by empowering those affected, including their families, with the tools necessary to succeed on their journey to recovery. We understand that while I can't, we can.

Additional info can be found at

Monday, June 20, 2016

Reminder: Forum on Substance Use Disorders - Today at Dean College

State Representative, Jeffrey Roy 
SAFE Coalition President, James Derick

Monday, June 20, 2016. 7:00 pm 

Dean College Campus Center, Atrium 
Emmons St., Franklin, MA (Parking from 109 West St)

1. How did we get here? A discussion on the history of the Opioid epidemic, nationally and locally.  
2. Public Health Epidemic – Discuss current trends in substance abuse. Just how bad is the problem and how is it impacting our communities?  
3. Faces of the Epidemic – Hear from a person in long term recovery into and out of active addiction. 
4. What defines a substance abuse disorder? What triggers addiction? How does a person recover from his or her disease?  
5. Responding to the Epidemic – How has the federal and state government responded and how are community agencies responding? What role do community coalitions play?  
6. How do citizens become involved in helping communities heal and in promoting change?  
7. Q and A: Engage audience members in the discussion.

presented by the Franklin Odd Fellows
presented by the Franklin Odd Fellows

Related post

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Franklin TV: Grandparents and the Opioid Crisis

The opioid crisis is affecting many people.  Increasingly more and more grandparents are raising the children of their adult children who are suffering from the disease of addiction.  

Hear Dyan Fitzgerald, a grandmother raising her beautiful grand child, on this week's It Takes a Village...

Dyan tells her story, a story she states that is all too common, but also lets everyone know how the Franklin Branch of the YMCA came to her rescue through its scholarship program.  She wants everyone to know how the people there came to her rescue.

  •   View on Comcast 8; Verizon 26 on Wed morning at 7:30
  •                                                        Saturday  evening at 8:30

  •   View on Comcast 98; Verizon 28 on Friday morning at 8:30
  •                                                           Saturday - 12 noon
Franklin TV
Franklin TV

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

In the News: Kingsbury Pond issue, substance abuse presentation

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin

"A meeting is set to take place Wednesday night to address resident concerns that Franklin wells have been drawing too much water from a local pond. 
State Rep. Shawn Dooley, R-Norfolk, will host the meeting, organized in response to a petition on regarding the water levels at Kingsbury Pond. It is scheduled to take place at 6 p.m. at the Norfolk Public Library. 
Dooley noted that the pond's water level had reached its lowest point in 40 years, something some locals attributed to neighboring Franklin wells. As many who live in the area appreciate the beauty of the pond, he said, this naturally led to some concern. 
"I know there were additional factors (leading to the low water levels), like the drought and the fact that several of Franklin's other wells were down, but they were pulling more heavily from the pond," he said. "So, some neighbors got together and formed a petition."
image of Kingsbury Pond from petition

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

The earlier posting on the petition can be found here


"Members of the school district's Substance Abuse Task Force spoke at Tuesday's School Committee meeting about their efforts to combat drug and alcohol use among students. 
High School Principal Peter Light, health department director Kristin Cerce and guidance counselor Josh MacCreery gave a slideshow presentation about substance abuse in schools and the strategies used to discourage use. 
"It's really about building emotional maturity and the skill for children to be able to adapt," Light said. "A lot of what leads to abuse is anxiety and mental health issues."

The live reporting from the School Committee meeting on this topic including the presentation document can be found here

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Live reporting: Substance Abuse Presentation

b. FHS Substance Abuse Task Force

Peter Light, Kristin Circe, and Joshua MacCreery

numbers lower than national average but can be better
data from MetroWest survey has not changed a whole deal over the years

substance abuse education from K-12
age appropriate through the years to create and enhance the awareness
more depth beginning about 5th grade

increase in clubs and activities at the High School helps
SADD is a key club in some of the activities

Panthers Club and Community Service Club

School Wellness Advisory Council (SWAC)
focuses on extra curricular healthy activities

FHS substance abuse sub-committee has three leads to focus on students, faculty and community to assist in raising awareness and education

Chris Herren (former NBA basketball player) coming to speak at FHS Feb 29th

Bilello - thanks for the information
it was disappointing that at the SAFE coalition forum, one student spoke to somethings that are not reflected here
what are you doing with the middle schools?

Circe - using the data to drive curriculum and awareness down to the middle school level, the 7/8 students actually participate in the survey

Light - did get about 80 FHS teachers show up to do something to help, looking to start small and build on success; activities being planned around the Chris Herren visit; possible event planned for the joint basketball games at FHS against KP. Police coming in to do some drug awareness training during March and extend to middle school personnel. This does have a district wide impact

Schultz - question on the numbers, 10% in middle school 
Circe - the answers are life time events, not necessarily an indication of a continued use. Later added that the average had decreased over the past several year. Still a decent number of users but a down trend.
Light - use of a 'party' bowl where extra drugs are brought to a party to be shared - not really a smart decision because you have no idea what is really being used
Sabolinski - academic stress increases as they get to juniors, taking more caffeine and other self medications to get through it. Can go back to the zones of regulation, helping kids learn to recognize and deal with the emotions. Have spent several years moving in this direction. The anxiety and depression increases

Jewel - concern with the guidance as not always be good, need to be able to decipher. Some of the consequences of taking one drug or another may not be recoverable.

Friday, November 6, 2015

"Text is unbelievably private. No one hears you talking."

Sounds like this would be key another resource to turn for help

When a young woman texted with a heartbreaking cry for help, the organization responded by opening a nationwide Crisis Text Line to provide an outlet for people in pain. 
Nearly 10 million text messages later, the organization is using the privacy and power of text messaging to help people with issues such as addiction, suicidal thoughts, eating disorders, sexual abuse and more. 
The data collected in the process is reshaping policy and preparing schools and law enforcement to better handle spikes in crises.

You can watch Nancy Lublin tell her story here

You can read more about the crisis text line here

The top 50 words in a text from some one asking for help with substance abuse

Top 50 words in a text message from some one seeking help with substance abuse
Top 50 words in a text message from some one seeking help with substance abuse

You can find out more of the trends that they share from the data they collect

Coincidently, MDN ran an editorial Friday on texting for suicide help

Saturday, August 15, 2015

MassBudget: Analyzing the State Budget for FY 2016

MassBudget  Information.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center  Democracy.

Analyzing the State Budget for FY 2016 
With the House and Senate having overridden a number of the Governor's vetoes, the Fiscal Year 2016 (FY 2016) budget is now largely complete. This year's budget makes few major changes in overall funding provided to educate our children, keep our communities safe, protect our most vulnerable, strengthen our economy and improve the quality of life in our communities. Click HERE for our full analysis.

The budget does include several significant new initiatives, including:
  • Increasing the value of the state earned income tax credit from 15% of the federal credit to 23%. This will provide additional income to over 400,000 lower wage workers and their families (click HERE for town-by-town detail). Besides improving lives now by helping parents to pay for necessities like food and clothing for their children, this additional support is also likely to expand opportunity for these children over the long run: there is growing evidence that when the income of a lower income family increases, the children often do better in school and earn more as adults.
  • Providing significant new tools for the administration to improve management at the MBTA. The budget creates a new MBTA Control Board and authorizes the Secretary of Transportation to appoint the Director of the MBTA. The budget also suspends for three years the Taxpayer Protection Act (commonly called the Pacheco Law) that regulates privatization. The law requires that privatization efforts achieve savings by efficiency improvements rather than by reducing pay and benefits for workers (click HERE for more detail).
  • Addressing substance abuse with targeted investments throughout MassHealth, public health and mental health. In particular, new initiatives support first responders and others in the community struggling to address the challenge of opioid addiction.
The final budget, like the budget proposed by the governor back in March, relies heavily on temporary strategies to balance the budget. It spends $300 million in capital gains tax revenue that would have gone into the Rainy Day Fund under current law. It also counts on $100 million from a tax amnesty and $116 million from putting off paying some of our FY 2016 MassHealth bills into FY 2017.

As has been the case for many years, state budget choices are being shaped by fiscal challenges that date back to the late 1990s: after cutting the income tax by over $3 billion dollars between 1998 and 2002 our state has had to make deep cuts in areas like higher education, local aid, and public health. Meanwhile, the highest income residents in the Commonwealth are paying a substantially smaller share of their income in state and local taxes than do the other 99%. If our tax system were reformed so that the highest income 1% of taxpayers paid roughly the same share of their income in taxes as everyone else, that would raise about $2 billion that could be invested in things like making college affordable, improving our transportation systems, and providing all children with the supports they need to thrive.
Please click HERE for our full analysis.
The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) produces policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income children and adults, strengthening our state's economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts.


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MassBudget website screen grab
MassBudget website screen grab