Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition

Kathleen Guevara, LICSW, LADC1

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Regional Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator
(781) 979-4128

Robert Savarino

STOP Grant Youth Coordinator

Our Vision

We envision a Melrose that is a safe, healthy, and resourceful – a community that embraces evidence-based substance abuse prevention efforts and is united on the path to positive solutions.

Our Mission

The Coalition is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all. By providing resources and partnering locally and regionally, we take a leadership role in creating a substance abuse-free community.

How We Begansap medicine drop off 2013

In 2004, two of our community’s young people died tragically due to overdose-related incidents. This spurred members of the Melrose Community Coalition to actively address the growing problem of substance abuse. Statistically, the rate of binge drinking and heroin/prescription drug use is higher among Melrose youth than the Massachusetts average. View the History of the Coalition.

Resource Guide

Click here to access the Substance Abuse Prevention Community Resourse GuideResource Guide webcopy June 2016

Strengthening Families Program

Are you raising a child between the ages of 7-17 years old?  Do you want to improve your communication, boundary setting, and problem solving skills?  The Melrose Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition is offering Melrose families a new parenting program to use AT HOME!  The Strengthening Families Program is an evidence-based parenting skills, children’s social skills, and family life skills training program.  Get your copy of the Strengthening Families DVD for $5 at the Melrose Health Department!  Questions about SFP? Please visit  Lauren Dustin (781) 979-4128

Parent and Teen Survival Guide

Check out the 2015 Parent and Teen guide.  The guide was mailed to all families with children in grades 5-12.  Additionally it was an insert in the Melrose Weekly News.  If you didn’t get your copy, click here   2015 Melrose Parent Guide

Youth Action Team

Have you ever wondered how we get in touch with the students the High School??  The Youth Action Team, creates the content, then posts the “News Flush”, the monthly newsletter in the bathrooms.  Here are the issues to date:

October 2013 Molly December 2013 Drunk&Drugged Driving January 2014 MJ Myths
March 2014 Vaping April 2014 MGN May 2014 Alcohol Poisoning
June 2014 Wide Awake Drunk Sept 2014 Snapshots of Summer October 2014 Synthetic MJ
November 2014 Smokeless Tobacco January 2015 Social Media April 2015 Alcohol Awareness Month
May 2015 Prom_Graduation Sept 2015 Snapshots of Summer Rx Drugs
January 2016 Stress Exams Distracted Driving Sleep
April Marijuana and Brain news flush

Would you like to make a difference in our community?

Please join us for our monthly coalition meetings. 2nd floor Teacher’s conference room.

  • September 28th               Wednesday  9-10:00 am

Selected Accomplishments

  1. In 2006, under the leadership of the Health Department, the City applied for and received a state planning grant to support a community needs assessment. Additionally state funding was awarded which allowed the City to form the Melrose Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition. A Coalition Coordinator was hired and the first of five years of federal Drug-Free Communities (DFC) funding was received.
  2. In August, 2011 the City of Melrose was re-awarded SAMHSA’s Drug Free Communities Grant for an additional five years at $125, 000 per year.
  3. In 2012 the Coalition applied for and received the Sober Truth on Preventing Underage Drinking Act (STOP) grant. The purpose of the STOP Act is to prevent and reduce alcohol use among youth ages 12-20 in communities throughout the United States. The grant awards $50,000 per year for four years and has allowed the coalition to hire an additional staff member to focus on youth prevention.
  4. Opioid Overdose Prevention Grant awarded in 2013 to Medford and a cluster of surrounding communities including Melrose, Malden, Reading, Wakefield, & Stoneham. To focus on opioid use prevention in these communities through education and awareness programming, Narcan trainings, outreach, etc.

Melrose Tip Line

You are the eyes and ears of our community! Call and report any tips or suspicious activity….

Melrose Police Anonymous Tip Line: (781) 665-TIPS (8477)

Anonymous Text Tip Line

To send a tip, text the word MELROSE and your tip, to 847411 (TIP411)

Visit the Melrose Police Department website for more information and what types of information to report.

Current Happenings

Listen to D.A. Marian Ryan’s Eastern Middlesex Opioid Task Force Forum from October 2015.

This contains Dr. Brian O’Connor’s interesting and very informative presentation on the science and progression of addiction and how withdrawals affect the body.  (Starting at 7 minutes 30 seconds)

Learn More Information About Narcan and How to be Trained

Don’t forget to clean out your medicine cabinet.

Drop box is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week at the Melrose Police Dept 56 West Foster Street.

Syringe Drop Box

Can be found on the ground floor of Melrose City Hall, 562 Main Street. It is available during regular City Hall hours. Please place used or unused syringes in a rigid plastic container.

Social Host Liability …what is it?
  1. View the Social Host Ordinance
  2. This law gives our Police Department one of the tools they need to hold private homeowners, who are providing alcohol to underage kids, civilly responsible for doing so.
  3. Access the brochure that is being used for outreach to parents and other homeowners

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