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FAQs on Vaping - March 8, 2018

While rates of teen smoking cigarettes have declined, Reading, like many communities has seen an increase in other types of nicotine use including vaping. Teens often perceive vaping nicotine as less risky than smoking, which has increased its popularity. However, there are serious health risks to consider with vaping, including lung disease. Last summer, the Chief of Police and Supt. of Schools sent info to all local healthcare providers including pediatricians on addressing vaping use with teens. 


See attached for guidance provided to health professionals.


RCASA is working with the schools to conduct vaping prevention info sessions so parents and adults can learn more about the issue. 

Reading Memorial High School- March 13, 7:30 pm@ RMHS school library

Coolidge  & Parker Parents  - March 15th, 6:30 pm@ Coolidge,


Where can I learn more? RCASA has a wealth of resources on understanding substance use including vaping.

How do I bring it up my kids?

How can I help? 

Reduce exposure of vaping by not allowing it in your home, cars, or closed spaces by other members of the family or guests. 

Is vaping legal? To purchase nicotine products including vapes in Reading, you must be 21 years old. However, it's not illegal to possess these products unless you are on school grounds or using them in a public space including parks and recreational areas. 

Is vaping allowed in schools? Nicotine use of any kind and paraphernalia is not allowed at school or on school grounds.

What is being done to educate students? Students are receiving vaping prevention info through their health classes. RCASA and the SRO also visit all 9th grade classes at least once per semester to address substance use.  

What happens if a student gets in trouble at school for vaping? In addition to possible school discipline consequences, students are referred to RCASA for a 2hr education class (1st violation). For a second violation of school rules, students must visit their primary care provider for an assessment.

If you find out your own child or friends are vaping, we have provided resources on the RCASA website on how to talk about the health risks and the current legal parameters. 

If you are concerned about vaping use on public property, you can report non-emergency information to police. 

If you are concerned about vaping use at school or after-school, contact the school administrator. 

Annual Meeting Featuring Dr. Ruth Potee- September 2017
Annual Meeting Featuring Dr. Ruth Potee- September 2017

Dr. Potee at RCASA Annual Meeting on YouTube


Full broadcast featuring RCASA Director, Jams for Jake and Marian Ryan


Presentation slides



How to Prevent Substance Misuse At Any Age
How to Prevent Substance Misuse At Any Age

Straightforward drug prevention tips parents can use for kids of any age, from toddler to teenager to young adult.

More Sites & Publications w/Drug & Alcohol Info for parents 

Search Institute: Build Healthy Skills and Competencies in Your Family

Sites geared to children and pre-teens

Smartphone Savvy: Common Sense Media
Smartphone Savvy: Common Sense Media

Learn more about apps and smarphone safety

Hidden in Plain Sight: Spot the Warning Signs of Substance Misuse
Hidden in Plain Sight: Spot the Warning Signs of Substance Misuse

For adults only. Please view our exhibit.


Stay informed to help your family and your community
Stay informed to help your family and your community
How to Talk about Marijuana
How to Talk about Marijuana

Don't wait, the time is now!

41% of teen marijuana smokers say they began before the age of 15.

What do we actually know about marijuana






Dr. Ruth Potee
Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Support Group

Learn more 

PARENT/FAMILY SUPPORT GROUPS (local)- compiled by RCASA as of 7/2015

(free groups for parents concerned about their child’s drug and alcohol use)



See the website for the many local meetings

Al-Anon for Parents

       St. Margaret’s Church

            111 Winn Street, Burlington

            Thursday, 8:30pm


             First Parish Church

             Great Road, Bedford

             Tuesday 7:30 pm

Nar-Anon for Families

      McLean Hospital

115 Mill Street

Belmont, MA

     De Marneffe Building

     Room #132   7:45-9:15PM

     Meeting Name: "Cope & Hope"

     Monday:  7:45 pm


The Salvation Army Building

402 Massachusetts Avenue

Cambridge, MA

Wednesday 7:00 pm

                   Please enter through Green Street entrance

                   Meeting Name: "Friends & Families In Crisis"

Learn To Cope                                                                     

All meetings begin at 7pm


Mon:       BROCKTON:  Independence Academy, the Recovery High School
                                        460 Belmont Street, Brockton
                 Entrance to the school is at the far back of the building.

                 CAMBRIDGE: Spaulding Hospital
                                         1575 Cambridge Street
                 Use main entrance and follow signs to the 3rd Floor Chapel. 
                 Use free visitor parking in Lot E on Hovey Ave.


Tue:     QUINCY: Eastern Nazarene College
                                 180 Old Colony Ave
                Use main entrance and watch for signs.

                TEWKSBURY: Tewksbury Memorial High School
                                         320 Pleasant Street


Wed:     LOWELL: Saints Medical Center 
                                    1 Hospital Drive

    GLOUCESTER: Rose Baker Senior Center
                                 6 Manuel F Lewis Street (enter through the main door)
                Park in adjacent lot  or in back of building



Thur:       SALEM: Salem Hospital
                           81 Highland Ave
                           Davenport Conference Room 102A
              Park behind the hospital by Shaughnessy/Spaulding North, back entrance. Room 102A

              WORCESTER: Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital
                                     309 Belmont Street
             This is a brand new facility, located within a campus of very old building. It is important to go straight to          

             the end of the roadway. The entrance is secure so you will have to sign in at the front door.

Parent Support Group

            Mass.General Hospital

     15l Merrimack Street, 5th Floor, Boston

          Tue, 5:30-7pm


            1st Baptist Church

            Oakland Street, Medford

            Wed, 6:30-8pm

Parents Helping Parents

Community Teamwork

            155 Main Street, Lowell

            Mon, 5:30-7pm



99 Dartmouth Street, Malden

            Mon, 6:30-8pm


      First Community Church

            55 Otis Street, Medford

            Tue, 6:30 -8pm


      Lemberg Children’s Center

            415 South Street, Waltham

            Wed, 7-9pm

Families Anonymous

            Community Family

            121 Washington St Medford

Tue 7 pm


Wilmington United Methodist Church

87 Church St, Wilmington

Thu 7 pm

Family Support Group

            North Suffolk

            14 Porter St., East Boston

            Mon, 6-8pm

Friends and Family Support

            Lahey Behaviorial, Danvers Treatment Center

            Middleton St., Danvers

            Thu, 7-8:30pm

SMART Recovery for Families

            McLean Hospital, Belmont

            DeMarneffe Bldg – Cafeteria, Rm 118

            Sat, 4:30pm


Sponsored by Barile Family Funeral Homes of Stoneham and Reading

2016 Bereavement Ministry  "Comfort the Sorrowful"

Saint Patrick Parish
71 Central Street
Stoneham, MA 02180

Grief Support Drop-In Evenings

2nd Monday of each Month (except holidays) 

Grief Support Group

Meets seasonally for 6 consecutive Wednesday evenings (call Saint Patrick's to register)

Spring: April 20 - May 25 Fall: October 5 - November 9

Emmaus Ministry 1-Day Retreat for Parents Grieving the Loss of a Child

Saturday, September 24
9:30am - 7:30pm
(please call Saint Patrick's to register)

Watch Dr. Ruth Potee's talk @ RCASA Annual Meeting, click to view her presentation
Its Never To Early to Talk
Talk: They Hear You
Talk: They Hear You II
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Reading Memorial High School
Walter S. Parker Middle School
Arthur W. Coolidge Middle School
Wood End Elementary School
Joshua Eaton Elementary School
J. Warren Killam Elementary School
Birch Meadow Elementary School
Alice M. Barrows Elementary School
Rise Preschool