Chelsea Substance Use Disorders (SUD) Initiative

The Chelsea Substance Use Disorders Initiative strengthens protective factors and decreases risk factors to prevent substance use and abuse for youth, adults and families through education, prevention and intervention strategies. The coalition also works to increase access to and resources for successful treatment and recovery from substance use disorders.

The City of Chelsea, in partnership with Massachusetts General Hospital, has worked closely with a strong oversight committee to build a comprehensive community-based, environmental approach to reducing substance abuse and perception of safety. In Spring 2013,  a new Manager of Community-Based Substance Use Disorders Initiative was hired. He is responsible for providing overall leadership to the development and implementation of a comprehensive city-wide substance abuse plan where organizations, providers and residents have a role.

In FY2013, community leaders, representing multiple community sectors, participated in a community health needs assessment using the MAPP approach.  A Quality of Life survey was completed by 959 people and a total of 10 focus groups of underrepresented community members were conducted and were attended by a total of 109 Chelsea residents. The community assessment committee hosted a community forum, a highly successful event attended by more than 75 people. CCHI analyzed all of the data and presented to assessment committee members. Participants reviewed the data and identified priorities based on select criteria:  1) community need 2) impact 3) community interest, will and readiness, and 4) existing or needed resources. They discussed how or if their organization was already addressing the priorities, what additional resources, if any, were needed, and recommended possible solutions. Once priorities were selected committee members formulated goals, objectives and strategies for each priority area. 

By a significant margin, Chelsea residents identified substance use idsorders, and the effects it has on quality of life including perceptions of violence and public safety, as their top issue. 

Dan Cortez

Phone: 617 887-3554