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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.
The Grayken Center for Addiction at BMC in conjunction with the Partnership for Drug Free Kids, provides PARENTS in Massachusetts with the support they need to help an adolescent or young adult child who is struggling with substance use. Phone Helpline: 844.319.5999 or Text Helpline Text: HOPEMA to 55753
Talk. They Hear You.
Talk. They Hear You.

This free mobile app that helps you prepare for one of the most important conversations you may ever have with your children about underage drinking. The app provides parents and caregivers of children and teens ages 9 to 15 with the tools and information they need to start talking with their children early about the dangers of alcohol. Learn more at

Now's the Time to Start Talking About Alcohol and Other Drugs
Now's the Time to Start Talking About Alcohol and Other Drugs
Parent Operating System Update
Parent Operating System Update
New State Prevention Campaign on Vaping- 2018
New State Prevention Campaign on Vaping- 2018


The MA Department of Public Health "launched its first statewide public information campaign to educate parents of middle and high school-aged children about the dangers of vape pens and e-cigarettes. The campaign, The New Look of Nicotine Addiction, seeks to spread the word that these high-tech products are harmful, that they contain nicotine which can damage a teenager’s developing brain and lead to addiction." Learn more at


FAQs on Vaping - 2018
FAQs on Vaping - 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 conducted vaping prevention info sessions for school faculty and parents throughout March and April. Presentations can be found under 

Community Education


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. 

Operation Opioid Prevention Parent Toolkit
Operation Opioid Prevention Parent Toolkit

The following Parent Toolkit is part of the OPERATION OPIOID PREVENTION PROJECT supported by the DEA AND DISCOVERY CHANNEL EDUCATION.


With support from Rotary Club of Rotary, RCASA has printed 165 hard copies of the toolkit to go home with 9th grade students participating in RCASA/Reading Police opioid prevention workshops at Reading Memorial High School during June 2018.


OPERATION PREVENTION Educator guides and materials for elementary, middle and high school will be provided to the Reading Public Schools for their review and possible integration into their existing health programs. Learn more @






Parent Talk Kit: What to Say About Alcohol and Drugs
Parent Talk Kit: What to Say About Alcohol and Drugs

The following talk kit has great info to start the conversation, keep dialogue going, using teachable moments and much more!


For more about signs and symptoms of drug and
alcohol use, please visit Partnership for Drug-Free
Kids at



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

Concerned about your child's substance use?

Get support for you and your family—call 1-844-319-5999

Grayken Center for Addiction at Boston Medical Center and the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids offers providing evidence-based support services for Massachusetts parents and families:

1. A dedicated phone and text Helpline for Massachusetts families (call 844-319-5999 or text HOPEMA to 55753), where parents can connect with master’s level specialists and be referred to parent coaches, who will listen to their challenges and help them develop an action plan toward their child’s recovery


2. highlights details on resources and tools Massachusetts families can access

Where should I start?

Check out how to approach the issue and find local resources


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


Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Support Group

Learn more 

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

Watch the RCTV Broadcast of Dr. Potee's presentation in Reading @ RCASA Annual Meeting

Watch the full RCASA Annual Meeting, which includes DA Marian Ryan and Dr. Potee

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. 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

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, 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.


Learn more about her books, DVDs, and online resources


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



Event materials



Now's the Time to Start Talking About Alcohol & Other Drugs
Now's the Time to Start Talking About Alcohol & Other Drugs
Its Never To Early to Talk
Parent Operating System Update
Parent Operating System Update
Watch Dr. Ruth Potee's talk @ RCASA Annual Meeting, click to view her presentation
Talk: They Hear You
Talk: They Hear You II
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