Underage Drinking and Drug Abuse Prevention
Preventing underage drinking and drug abuse are key hallmarks of the District Attorney’s Office. Targeting youth becomes especially important as early education is critical. Substance abuse can result in severe health and cognitive damage. It also creates a higher likelihood for addiction later in life, as well as continued unhealthy decision-making. As a result, the office is committed to: reducing underage drinking and drinking fatalities, reducing access to alcohol, advocating for safety measures that keep prescription drugs out of the hands of teens, and exposing the truth about marijuana’s long term effects.
In addition to protecting teens, the office is also committed to doing whatever it can to support efforts that reduce opiate abuse among persons of all ages. The District Attorney’s Office partners with various area organizations as well as county and state legislators, and area safety, fire, and police departments on various initiatives.
For National Drug Facts Week 2016, the DA’s office launched a sticker shock campaign, covering local liquor stores with “21 OR BUST!” stickers to discourage adults from buying alcohol for minors!! Read more
In October 2015, the office conducted its first-ever “Teen Safety Summit” attended by more than 250 persons, including student groups, parents, law enforcement officials, school personnel and social and health services providers. Read more
The office partners year-round with area organizations such as the BOLD Coalition, SADD, Easton Wings of Hope, Norton Opiate Task Force MassTAPP, Taunton Mayor’s Opiate and Substance Use Task Force, Mansfield Health and Wellness Committee and other coalitions.
Workshops, large-scale conferences, presentations, workshops and webinars on underage drinking, substance abuse, and related issues are offered monthly throughout the county at various events and in area schools across the county.
Literature, marketing campaigns, and prevention campaigns take place year-round, and often center on specific “high-risk” seasons such as prom and graduation. Brochures below.
The office successfully spearheads the Bristol County Underage Substance Abuse Prevention Task Force, which advances and supports numerous efforts to raise awareness and enhance education. Members include: Attleboro Police Dept., Alcohol Beverage Control Commission, Fairhaven Police Dept., Fall River Police Dept., SSTAR/BOLD Coalition, New Bedford Health Dept., Norton Police Dept., Norton Public Schools, Mansfield Public Schools, Taunton Public Schools, MassTAPP, Dartmouth Board of Health, Dartmouth Police Dept., DCF, and DYS.
Set good examples in the home. View and use our Bristol County Family Pledge Form
Learn to Cope is a support organization that offers education, resources, peer support and hope for parents and family members coping with a loved one addicted to opioids or other drugs. Weekly meetings are run by experienced facilitators who know firsthand what a family is going through. To find a meeting near you visit www.learn2cope.org.
Online training! Safe Opioid Prescribing for Acute Dental Pain. This one-hour program outlines opioid prescribing principles for general dentists and dental specialists, illustrated by a case study. This training covers the safe and competent use of opioids for managing acute moderate to severe dental pain.
Where to Turn for Help:
MA Substance Abuse Info & Education Helpline
(Toll free) 1-800-327-5050 (TTY) 617-536-5872
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
(Toll free & confidential) 1-800-662-HELP
Community Counseling of Bristol County
High Point Treatment Center
SSTAR of Fall River
Additional Online Resources
Did you know? It is against the law to furnish alcohol to a minor. If you maintain or own the premises where minors drink, you may also be found in violation of the law. Know the Social Host Law, M.G.L. c. 138, s. 34. Make responsible decisions and talk to teens about the dangers of underage drinking.