Collaborating Across the Region to Prevent Substance Use

Healthy Chelsea is very involved in a regional partnership that is addressing youth substance use prevention and early intervention called the Substance Abuse Prevention Collaborative (SAPC). The purpose of this initiative is to implement evidence-based environmental strategies and “best practices” that can be sustained through local policy, practice and systems changes. Ryan Barry is the Coordinator of this grant, which is funded by the MA Department of Public Health, Bureau of Substance Abuse Services.

This 5-year initiative serves the communities of Chelsea, Revere, Saugus, and Winthrop and emphasizes SAMHSA’s Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) model to ensure a consistent data-driven process.

The grant’s goals are to:

  • Engage youth across the 4 communities to work locally and regionally to help assess, plan and implement effective prevention strategies on target substance use priorities
  • Implement culturally competent and sustainable strategies that are specific and appropriate for each community
  • Advocate for regional policy, practice, systems and environmental changes that support youth prevention
  • Share best practices across the region

Ryan leads recruitment of youth across the cluster to actively participate in these strategies, while simultaneously engaging a variety of other community members and organizations to become involved in youth substance use prevention initiatives. The funding is used to strengthen the capacity of each community to address youth substance use, both individually and as a region. In this role, Ryan also acts as resource to the communities’ mayors/city managers, boards of health, school departments, police departments, youth, parents, and other residents in each community regarding youth substance use issues.