Square One: A Community Conversation about Substance Use Awareness & Prevention

On Thursday, March 28, 2019 dozens of community members gathered at an event aimed at initiating discussion and identifying community education/support needs related to substance use among all age groups in Westborough. The event, ” Square One: A Community Conversation about Substance Use Awareness and Prevention” was hosted by the Rotary Club of Westborough in partnership with Westborough Youth & Family Services, Westborough Connects and the Westborough Public Schools.

Through joint work and collaboration, these organizations recognized the need for a program that begins to address ever-growing concerns from community members surrounding substance use among both youth and adult age groups. No one is immune or insulated from this topic, and Westborough is not unique. This program opened up a discussion for all to begin to address education and support needs together. Watch the video from the evening here. The end of the video provides viewers with a list of available resources and information.

Program goals included:
Initiate a community conversation on substance use prevention, substance use disorder and addiction (including a brief look at the issue of Juuling/vaping).
Reduce / eliminate the stigma around the disease of addiction. 
Identify community education needs.
Identify next steps as a community.

This event was the first in a series of programs and followed a “world cafe” format program with small group discussions led by experienced individuals. The program was moderated by Jason Verhoosky, director of the Wayland Youth & Family Services. Jason has worked in the field of youth development since 2001 and has focused on substance abuse prevention since 2008. Jason has worked as a regional and national trainer for The Massachusetts Bureau of Substance Abuse Services, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, The Office of National Drug Control Policy and The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration.

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