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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



Compiled by Reading Coalition



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 www.learn2cope.orgAll meetings begin at 7pm



BROCKTON:  Independence Academy, the Recovery High Schooll, 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.



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


TEWKSBURY: Tewksbury Memorial High School, 320 Pleasant Street



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



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, newer 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, 151 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


YMCA, 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 Behavioral, 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

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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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