Prevention at AHM Youth & Family Services is defined as a multifaceted approach that allows for teens and adults to work towards the goal of decreasing the use of alcohol, substances and use of vapes within the RHAM Community.
AHM provides opportunities to RHAM Middle and High School Students, parents and the community to get involved in positive change efforts to help move our mission forward.
Cocoa with a Cop!
National Take-Back Event 2022!
AHM Youth and Family Services, through the Coalition for a Healthy and Empowered Community (CHEC) and the Connecticut State Police, hosts Take Back Events where unused or expired prescriptions, over-the-counter medications and vitamins are collected and safely disposed of at an official facility. At this time sharps will not be collected.
At April’s Spring 2022 event, two collection sites were set up, one in Marlborough and one at RHAM High School. (view more pictures in gallery on right side of page)
Between the two collection sites, 215 pounds were collected, (164 pounds at RHAM High School and an additional 51 pounds at the Marlborough Fire Station #2). A total of 74 CT. residents, (45 at RHAM and 29 at Marlborough) participated in the Take-Back event. Of the total number of participants, 8% came from Andover, 37% from Hebron, 38% from Marlborough, 5% from Columbia, and 11% from other neighboring towns. Read the full press release here!
This year’s Fall 2022 event broke all previous records with a collection of 254 pounds of unwanted medications and over-the-counter drugs! Once again RHAM High School hosted the event, which took place on Saturday, October 29, 2022, and had the participation of 96 residents, including 9 Andover, 58 Hebron, 8 Marlborough, 14 Columbia, and 7 other communities. Read the full press release here!
Our Next Take Back Event date in Spring 2023 is TBD. Check back soon!
Tressa Giordano, AHM’s Executive Director, joins Cathy Osten, CT State Senator and Ana Gopoian, Founder & Executive Director of TriCircle, Inc. to discuss drug paraphernalia found in our communities. Watch the video below!
Parents, children and residents of ages were invited to have an informal conversation to get to know our police officers a little better on September 2nd. Hebron’s own Officer Bryce Reed and his colleagues were there to meet with our community!
Our last Coffee with a Cop Event was held in mid-June 2022 at the Marlborough Bakery and was a success! It was great to see Officer Bernie and Officer Kehoe talking with residents of all ages!
AHM’s Prevention Coordinator:
Contact: 860-228-9488, x22
Take-Back Spring 2022 Pictures
Take-Back Fall 2022 Pictures
Pictures from Coffee with a Cop!
Check back soon to learn about our upcoming presentations or “Like” Andover Hebron Marlborough Youth and Family Services on Facebook to get this information on your Facebook news feed!
Coalition for a Healthy Empowered Community (CHECH) is made up of RHAM Middle School and RHAM High School administrators as well as town leaders, parents, business owners and community members, with the focus to incorporate increased community wellness with an emphasis on helping to keep youth alcohol and drug-free.
Through the dedication and work of this coalition, AHM is proud to be only one of fewer than 200 nationwide communities to be awarded a federal grant to support communities in their efforts 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.
Formerly known as the AHM Substance Abuse & Violence Prevention Task Force; this group as a whole has worked together since 1986 to minimize the impact of drug and alcohol use and abuse in the regional community.
More information for committee members can be found on the CHEC Coalition page.
The purpose of the JRB is to divert youth from the juvenile court system. Research has documented that such diversions can help to enable youth to stay out of the juvenile court system and have potentially brighter futures than they otherwise would. For over 20 years, AHM has positively changed the lives of hundreds of RHAM High School students.
The AHM Juvenile Review Board serves as a template across the state for similar programs and is made of social workers, school administrators, Resident State Troopers, probation officers, a juvenile prosecutor, a representative from DCF and a representative from The Family Support Center. This highly dedicated group of people assists the youth and their families during difficult times.
Visit our Juvenile Review Board page for more information on the process.
Each year AHM partners with State Troop K to sponsor patrols at the Hebron Lions Fair. This strategy helps keep the community fair a safe event, and over time will contribute to a decrease in substance use, as consequences for those offenses occur.
Project Graduation is a drug and alcohol-free celebration that has taken place at an offsite on the night of graduation. AHM Youth and Family Services has proudly coordinated Project Graduation for over 26 years with 1000s of graduates in attendance.
The main members of the Project Graduation Committee are junior and senior parents since this celebration directly impacts their child/children, but the committee also welcomes members of the RHAM community to join in support of a graduation celebration without the temptations of drugs and alcohol.
For more information, monthly meeting dates and meeting highlights, please visit the AHM Project Graduation webpage.
Middle School Full-Length Videos: http://dynamicinfluence.com/vaping-awareness-for-ahm-middle-school-teens/
High School Full-Length Videos: teens/http://dynamicinfluence.com/vaping-awareness-presentation-for-ahm-high-school-teens/
The SOAR Youth Group is facilitated by the AHM Prevention Coordinator, Jenn Boehler, and RHAM High School Guidance Counselor, Aly Hoagland. This year students work on a social norms campaign highlighting data collected from the 2022 Youth Voices Count Survey,
At RHAM High School and RHAM Middle School, students can join the afterschool activity club called SOAR. This year’s members are putting together a calendar of afterschool activities for a fun way to get together and show how easy it is to be “high on life!”
Join with friends or join to make new friends! General information, monthly meeting schedule and meeting highlights are located on the SOAR Youth Group page.
Parent Education Series
AHM hosted two presentations in Spring of 2022 which are available to view via Zoom recording. Each presentation is about 30 minutes in length.
- Dangers of Synthetic Marijuana – presented by Rob Picone
- Vaping and the Risks of Using – presented by Victoria Adams
The Paraphernalia Project: How Signs of Drug Use Can Be In Plain Sight
Ana Gopian, Executive Director of TriCircle Inc., founded the organization in July 2016. She has been in recovery from substance abuse since 1995 and has also had family members who struggled with it. Ana’s life mission is to share her knowledge with parents about current trends and ways to hid paraphernalia in plain sight. In addition to speaking engagements, Ana, coordinates the following groups: “Hope & Support” that provide a safe and confidential space for parents guardians and others who are concerned about a loved one’s substance use or addiction. Families are encouraged to utilize these services at no cost and “Hope After Loss” which gives a place where everyone understands. There is no judgement or blame but rather support and understanding.
- Walk started near John E. Horton Blvd, down RT66, then a left into RT85 South and back on the other side of the street
- London Road near Gay City State Park
- Veteran’s Memorial Park and both sides of Wall Street in front of the school
- Corner of Reidy Hill Road until the first telephone pole and back
- Walk started near coffee franchise and grocery chain with a left onto Rt 66 towards East Hampton for 2.5 tenths of a mile and back
- Commuter parking near Exit 12 off RT2 down North Main Street 4.5 tenths of a mile and back
- Walk started at the gas station on RT66. left out of the parking lot for 2.5 tenths of a mile and back
Dangers of Synthetic Marijuana
Rob Picone is a graduate of the UCONN School of Pharmacy and has been a licensed Pharmacist for more than 25 years with clinical interests and expertise in substance use disorders and endocrinology, including especially Type 1 Diabetes having worked clinically both in in-patient and out-patient settings. He is currently the Immediate Past President of the Connecticut Pharmacist Association and has presided over and sat of their Board of Directors for the past seven years. In addition to his clinical experience, Rob holds a PhD in Molecular Pharmacology also from the University of Connecticut where he worked to elucidate the mechanisms by which marijuana interacts with its site of action in the brain. For the past 15 years, Rob has worked in the pharmaceutical industry in various Medical Affairs capacities including clinical trial support in the development of medications for diabetes as well as addiction. Currently, he is a Field Medical Scientist at Provention Bio, a clinical stage biotechnology start-up focusing on curing and/or delaying autoimmune diseases especially Type 1 Diabetes.
Vaping and the Risks of Using
Victoria Adams, M.Ed, NCTTP, is the Tobacco Prevention Coordinator at Southern Connecticut State University. She holds a National Certificate in Tobacco Treatment Practice and is a trained tobacco treatment specialist trainer from the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Center for Tobacco Treatment Research and Training. She provides tobacco prevention, cessation and policy work support to community organizations, schools and colleges throughout the state. She coordinates a Youth MATCH Coalition group which aims to reduce tobacco use among youth in the state. In addition, she provides tobacco cessation care to all members at SCSU. Victoria’s work is grant funded by the CT DPH and CDC.
Risks of Using Presentation
LINK to presentation
National Take-Back Day!
Thank you to RHAM High School for hosting the October 23rd event. It was a smashing success with 380 pounds of medications being donated from the RHAM community and beyond. A great showing of volunteers from RHAM High School, the AHM CHEC Coalition, CT State Police Troop K, SOAR Youth Group and AHM Board Members that made this event run smoothly!
Read more about National Take-Back Day!
Coffee With a Cop!
Thank you to Gina Marie’s for hosting Coffee With A Cop on Wednesday, October 20th. Community members had an opportunity to meet Hebron’s newest resident Trooper, Officer Bryce Reed. Many thanks for the Troop K officers who came out in force to support this community event that allows for frank conversations between residents and law enforcement!
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.