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In 2002, the rates of substance abuse-related hospitalizations and drug-related deaths among residents were 50% higher in Charlestown than in Boston overall. In 2004, the majority (70%) of Charlestown admissions to publicly-funded treatment facilities were for heroin and other opioids, compared to 50% for Boston. To address these challenges, a community coalition was formed to reduce substance misuse by utilizing existing community resources, organizing programs to respond to identified needs, and harnessing the community’s energy and commitment to create a safe, healthy environment in Charlestown.
The Charlestown Substance Abuse Coalition works to increase access to and resources for successful treatment and recovery from substance use disorders (SUDS). The Coalition also strengthens protective factors and decreases risk factors to prevent substance use and misuse for youth, young adults and families, through education, prevention, and intervention strategies. The coalition has nearly 50 active members representing 12 community sectors.
CSAC’s efforts have contributed to the following outcomes:
Mass General Hospital is on the front lines of the opioid epidemic. The MGH Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) program goal is to have substance use disorders addressed along all levels of health impact; from primary community-based prevention to early intervention and treatment to chronic disease management.
The effects of the closing of the Long Island shelter are being felt all over the city, so it’s no surprise that when the Turn It Around Youth Group heard about the displacement of homeless men and women, the young people knew they had to act.
Charlestown residents will have their say about the community’s overall health by completing a Quality of Life survey beginning today. The survey can be taken online or in paper form.
There will be a community meeting on Dec. 1, where organizers hope to hear answers to that question. The meeting is part of a community health assessment, sponsored by the MGH Center for Community Health Improvement and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, and coordinated, in part, by the Charlestown Substance Abuse Coalition.
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