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RCASA

Welcome to the Reading Coalition Against Substance Abuse website

We are a coalition of youth & adults living and working in Reading, MA who promote a safe, healthy, vibrant community in which everyone makes healthy decisions and ensures that today's resources shape tomorrow's strengths.

Get matched with a mental health services provider, call the INTERFACE REFERRAL HELPLINE 888-244-6843 (toll free). Available from Mon – Fri, 9am – 5pm for Reading residents.

Thank you for coming to see RCASA - slides are under Presentations @ Community Education 

RPS Parent University is on Sat, 3/30/19 from 8am-12:30pm
Parent U will feature Shauna Tominey, Ph.D., Keynote Speaker on "Raising Healthy and Happy Children" plus workshops available for parents. RCASA will be on site to offer free resources and facilitate two workshops. Free childcare for gr. K-5, register@ https://www.reading.k12.ma.… Continue
Parent U will feature Shauna Tominey, Ph.D., Keynote Speaker on "Raising Healthy and Happy Children" plus workshops available for parents. RCASA will be on site to offer free resources and facilitate two workshops. Free childcare for gr. K-5, register@ https://www.reading.k12.ma.us/community/adult-and-community-education/
RCASA Director Visited Coolidge PTO for Vaping Prevention on 3/7/19
Coolidge parents turned out to learn more vaping prevention. Check out the presentation.
Reading Public Schools and the Reading Coalition Against Substance Abuse Featured in Report from National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development
Youth Mental Health First Aid Highlighted As a Best Practice
Julianne DeAngelis, RCASA Outreach Coordinator Retired
After 8 years of service, Julianne retired on Jan. 30. Learn more about her contributions.
RCASA- Town of Reading- Hiring for Full-Time Outreach Coordinator
Learn more about the job positing. To apply, use the link below https://reading.tedk12.com/hire/ApplicantProfileLogin.aspx?JobID=663
Reading Rotary Organization Honors RCASA
A special thank you to the Reading Rotary Organization for honoring Erica McNamara, RCASA Director as their 2018 Unsung Hero and Paul Harris Fellow. The $1,000 donation that accompanies the Paul Harris Fellow Award will be used for RCASA Prevention Projects.
READING TO PROVIDE PARENTS WITH TOOLS TO ADDRESS YOUTH SUBSTANCE USE
Seven cities and towns in the Mystic Valley Public Health Coalition (MVPHC), including RCASA, are banding together to launch a social marketing campaign aimed at preventing underage drinking and substance use among middle school-aged youth. Learn more in our Press release.
BEAUTIFUL BOY Film: A Discussion Guide for Families
“Beautiful Boy” is a powerful, poignant and heartbreaking film, combining the memoirs of David Sheff and his son, Nic Sheff. A story of addiction told through the eyes of a father, a family’s struggle driven by fear, heartache, determination, hope and unconditional love. If you… Continue
“Beautiful Boy” is a powerful, poignant and heartbreaking film, combining the memoirs of David Sheff and his son, Nic Sheff. A story of addiction told through the eyes of a father, a family’s struggle driven by fear, heartache, determination, hope and unconditional love. If you see the film, check out this discussion guide to open conversations in your family.
RCASA 12th Annual Coalition Meeting On Sept 27, 2018
Thank you to everyone that participated in our annual coalition meeting. This event featured coalition highlights from the past year. Sherri VandenAkker, RCASA Board of Directors, delivered the keynote entitled “What I Wish I Knew: When Someone You Love Suffers From A Substance U… Continue
Thank you to everyone that participated in our annual coalition meeting. This event featured coalition highlights from the past year. Sherri VandenAkker, RCASA Board of Directors, delivered the keynote entitled “What I Wish I Knew: When Someone You Love Suffers From A Substance Use Disorder”.
Hidden in Plain Sight Attended by 80 Adults @ Reading Police Department
Thank you to all 80 adults who visited the Hidden in Plain Sight exhibit this September.The initiative uses an educational display of a teenager’s bedroom to test parents’ knowledge of common household items that can be substance abuse warning signs. The display was designed to e… Continue
Thank you to all 80 adults who visited the Hidden in Plain Sight exhibit this September.The initiative uses an educational display of a teenager’s bedroom to test parents’ knowledge of common household items that can be substance abuse warning signs. The display was designed to encourage honest and candid discussion of the topics of underage drinking and substance abuse. Tour guides were on hand to guide participants and answer questions. Special thanks to the Mission of Deeds, Burbank YMCA and Reading Police Department for their support.
Erica McNamara returns as RCASA Director
Erica McNamara resumed her full time role as the Director of RCASA on October 1. Thank you to everyone for their support!
RCASA Accepts National Recovery Month Award in Washington D.C.
A photo of Sherri VandenAkker, RCASA Board Member accepting the Reading Unites for Recovery National Recovery Month Award from Chideha M. Ohuoha, M.D., M.P.H., CAPT (USPHS), Director, SAMHSA Center for Substance Abuse Treatment at the annual luncheon in Washington, D.C. on Septem… Continue
A photo of Sherri VandenAkker, RCASA Board Member accepting the Reading Unites for Recovery National Recovery Month Award from Chideha M. Ohuoha, M.D., M.P.H., CAPT (USPHS), Director, SAMHSA Center for Substance Abuse Treatment at the annual luncheon in Washington, D.C. on September 6, 2018.
The Beat Heart Foundation Presents the 2nd Annual Jams for Jake
RCASA participated in the 2nd annual celebration of music and community on Sunday August 5th. More details on the event can be found at
The New Look of Nicotine Addiction
The state just launched its new campaign to spread the word that high-tech vaping products are harmful, that they contain nicotine which can damage a teenager’s developing brain and lead to addiction.
RCASA Accepts Donation from Rotary
Learn more about OPERATION OPIOID PREVENTION
Kudos to our RCASA/RMHS/SADD Student-Led Outreach Team
We had a team of students present at Parker today on Vaping Prevention. Leaders are Matt Segalla, Sarah Murphy, Molly Hamlin, Katie Kneeland, Autumn Hendrickson, & Mason Haynes. Special thanks to SRO Lewis for serving as a Co-Advisor on this pop-up activity.
CALLING RMHS Alumni- Participate in Dear 13 year old me
RCASA is accepting written submissions from Reading Public School teachers from grades 6-12, current high school students, and RMHS alumni on what they would tell their 13-year-old selves. The writing prompt is “Share a sentence or brief statement that address the struggles you m… Continue
RCASA is accepting written submissions from Reading Public School teachers from grades 6-12, current high school students, and RMHS alumni on what they would tell their 13-year-old selves. The writing prompt is “Share a sentence or brief statement that address the struggles you might have faced in middle school or message of hope, support or encouragement as if talking to your younger self… If you are interested, click below to participate
RCASA & SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) are focused on preventing substance use disorders and empowering youth to become advocates for change. We are forming a Student-led Outreach Team that will conduct vaping prevention activities at local middle schools. Click li… Continue
RCASA & SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) are focused on preventing substance use disorders and empowering youth to become advocates for change. We are forming a Student-led Outreach Team that will conduct vaping prevention activities at local middle schools. Click link below for more info!
Thurs April 5th- Alex's Story Featured at Reading Memorial High School
Students in 11th and 12th grade had the opportunity to view a unique presentation from Plymouth State University's TIGER Program on the issue of opioid awareness. Students learned about the impact of substance abuse and had the opportunity to ask questions.
Learn about prevention coalitions in Massachusetts
RCASA partners with many other coalitions in our region to share info, exchange resources, and co-host events. If you want to learn more about coalitions in other communities. There are coalitions that focus on a wide variety of health initiatives. Click the link below to searc… Continue
RCASA partners with many other coalitions in our region to share info, exchange resources, and co-host events. If you want to learn more about coalitions in other communities. There are coalitions that focus on a wide variety of health initiatives. Click the link below to search by region and community.

Spotlight

Watch Dr. Ruth Potee's Talk on Addiction
Watch Dr. Ruth Potee's Talk on Addiction

Watch the RCTV Broadcast of Dr. Potee's presentation in Reading @ RCASA Annual Meeting https://youtu.be/UrNfyaL3Bv8?t=45m43s

Watch the full RCASA Annual Meeting, which includes DA Marian Ryan and Dr. Potee https://youtu.be/UrNfyaL3Bv8

As promised, Dr. Potee has allowed us to share her presentation from the 11th Annual RCASA Meeting.  Thank you to all that attended and to Dr. Potee for her insight and knowledge. 

Dr._Potee_Community_Talk_2017-2018.pdf

Dr. Ruth Potee is board certified in Family Medicine and Addiction Medicine, she is a physician with Valley Medical Group in Greenfield, providing a full scope of family medicine with special interests in women’s health, pediatrics, addiction treatment, psychiatric illness, and pain management.  Dr. Potee is nationally recognized for her public speaking style that skillfully blends scientific research with an understanding of the challenges of raising healthy teens.  She is an extremely dynamic and sought after speaker who, in response to the ongoing opioid epidemic, has made it her mission to educate the public about the nature of addiction and why it is the only brain disease that is 100% preventable…“It’s chemistry, not character”.  

Learn more about Dr. Potee's work at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjyvRQFbseQ

More recovery month events at Community Education

 

Lynn Lyons addressed the "Worry Cycle" including strategies for teens and their parents on managing anxiety
Lynn Lyons addressed the "Worry Cycle" including strategies for teens and their parents on managing anxiety

Lynn_Lyons.jpg

Lynn Lyons, Author and Therapist presented an insightful workshop to an audience of 300 adults, including parents and school staff on October 17, 2017 from 6-8 p.m.  Lynn addressed the "Worry Cycle" including strategies for teens and their parents on managing anxiety.

Visit www.lynnlyonsnh.com

Learn more about her books, DVDs, and online resources 

http://www.lynnlyonsnh.com/books-videos/

 

Book Titles co-authored by Lynn Lyons and mentioned at the event:

ANXIOUS KIDS, ANXIOUS PARENTS:7 WAYS TO STOP THE WORRY CYCLE AND
RAISE COURAGEOUS & INDEPENDENT CHILDREN

PLAYING WITH ANXIETY:CASEY’S GUIDE FOR TEENS AND KIDS

Event materials

10.17.17.Lynn_Lyons_workshop_flyer.jpg

Press_Release_Lynn_Lyons.10.11.17.pdf

INTERFACE REFERRAL SERVICE- Get connected to mental health services!
INTERFACE REFERRAL SERVICE- Get connected to mental health services!
Do you know someone who could overdose from pain medication or heroin?
If so, ask a pharmacist today about getting Naloxone. Naloxone can reverse the effects of an overdose from opioids. It could also save a life. It’s available in a few forms. It’s easy to use and training is available if you want it.
Send an anonymous tip to Reading PD
Bring unwanted Rx to Reading Police 24/7 Dropbox
Dispose of your meds properly, protect the environment & help reduce prescription drug misuse. Store any remaining bottles safely & away from children/teens.

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Reading Coalition Against Substance Abuse  15 Union Street  Reading, MA 01867
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Reading Memorial High School
Walter S. Parker Middle School
Arthur W. Coolidge Middle School
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J. Warren Killam Elementary School
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Alice M. Barrows Elementary School
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