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Since 1986 a local group known as the AHM Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention Task Force have worked together to minimize the impact of drug and alcohol use and abuse in the regional community.  Today our efforts are increased to incorporate community wellness with an emphasis on helping to keep youth drug free.  Our former task force is now called the Coalition for a Healthy Empowered Community, or CHEC.

Through the efforts of the CHEC Coalition, AHM was awarded a federal grant, one of fewer than 200 nationwide communities to help combat local underage drinking, prescription drug abuse and the prevention of marijuana use.  The grant award, which is for five consecutive years, is funded through the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Drug Free Communities Support Program.

For more information about the CHEC Coalition and the way to get involved, please contact AHM’s Executive Director, Tressa Giordano, at TressaG@ahmyouth.org.

April is Alcohol Awareness Month! Follow our social media channels for tips and resources!

For information on our Smart Recovery Support Groups, visit our Clinical Services page!

Join us for National Take-Back Day!

Drop off your unwanted prescription and over the counter drugs at Elmer Thienes-Mary Hall Elementary School at 25 School Street, on Saturday, April 24th from 10am-2pm!

The National Takeback Event is done biannually across the country, with the goal of removing unwanted and unneeded prescription pills from households. Most people who abuse prescriptions, obtain them from a family or friend. Removing these types of medications from households, decreases the chances of abuse in teens and adults.

Once collected, the drugs are then destroyed safely by the DEA. By participating in these events, you are helping your community by decreasing access to addictive substances. We hope to see you on Saturday April 24th!

Follow our event on Facebook!

Read more about National Take-Back Day!

Sticker Shock Campaign Launches!

Members of AHM’s Drug and Alcohol Prevention Coalition (CHEC), and teens from the RHAM/AHM Youth Group RALLY partnered with Hebron Wine and Spirits last week, to do a Sticker Shock Campaign. The campaign is meant to remind customers during the holiday season, that providing alcohol to minors is a crime. Hebron Wine and Spirits Manager Chantelle stated “This is just a way for us to give back to the community in a simple way….and it can keep kids safe”. A lot of alcohol used by teens, is obtained through older, legal- aged friends. Teens and CHEC members spent a couple hours putting stickers on almost all alcohol products in the store, particularly the products which are more likely to be consumed by underage drinkers. These could include drinks such as: fruity liquors, twisted teas, beer, alcoholic ice pops, and others.

Five youth participated, with two CHEC members. AHM Prevention Coordinator Brendan Grimm said “It is important to continually send the message to parents that underage drinking is a risky behavior, so decreasing access to alcohol for teens is a huge step in seeing a decrease in use.” This campaign coincides with a related campaign, called the Social Host Campaign, for which signs are up outside at RHAM, at the intersection of 85 and 66, and on the green in Marlborough. This campaign informs parents that allowing an underage drinking party is illegal, and can have serious legal consequences, among others.

Our October Take-Back Event was a great success!

On Saturday, October 24th 2020, The CT State Police and AHM once again teamed up this year to host the semi-annual Take Back event, in partnership with the National DEA. Through the efforts of the CHEC Coalition, a new record was set this year with 281 pounds of medications taken in for safe disposal! This event aims to remove prescription pills from the community and to decrease drug misuse, and abuse. The safe disposal of medications is also an environmentally friendly way to rid households of unwanted medications. Many households have medications that are accessible to children, teens, and other adults, posing a risk of first-time use of a drug, addiction, and/or overdose.

The Takeback Event at RHAM High School has helped dispose of just under 2300 pounds of prescriptions in the past 7 years. Special thanks to Regional School District #8 Superintendent Scott Leslie, his staff and the RHAM Board of Education for once again providing the site for this local Take Back event, which each year brings residents from across the towns of Andover, Columbia, Hebron, Marlborough, and beyond to participate.

A year round drop off box is made available regionally to our communities according to Hebron Resident Trooper Dan Greenwood, who helped coordinate the Take Back event. The drop box is located at the Hebron Public Safety Complex on Route 66 in Hebron. No needles or sharps are accepted, but all other prescription and over the counter medications are accepted.

Suicide Prevention

Through a partnership with the Jordan Porco Foundation (JPF), AHM clinical staff members will be introducing the 4 What’s Next program to high school students. 4 What’s Next is a program that builds psychological resiliency in high school students by giving them the tools to handle stress and distress now and in their future. The core of the program is the 4 What’s Next Framework, which teaches students how to effectively handle distress by “reaching in” and utilizing independent coping strategies, “reaching out” by seeking and accepting help outside of themselves, or a combination of the two. This process is followed by an assessment of how well their chosen coping method is working and encourages them to reevaluate if needed. This program is made possible through the Jordan Porco Foundation and the Benny Fund.

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