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Upcoming Events

2015 Task Force Meetings
Thursday, February 12
4- 6 pm
Brighton Marine Health Center , RE Hawes Building , 3rd Floor, Conference Room # 1

All meetings are 2:30 – 4:00 p.m. and take place at the Brighton branch of the Boston Public Library at 40 Academy Hill Road in Brighton. All are welcome.

AREAS (Addiction Recovery Education Access Services) Meetings
Tuesdays, 6:30 – 7:45 p.m.
Charlesview Community Center
Adult Education Room
123 Antwerp Street, Allston
AREAS is a free recovery-based curriculum in a group discussion format. Topics include employment, housing and relapse prevention, among many others. For more information, see the flyer.

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Parent Focus Groups
Date : TBD
Time : TBD
Stop & Shop gift cards for all participants

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ABSATF News

Youth Coalition Tackles Prescription Drug Prevention and Other Teen Issues through Peer Workshops
January 26, 2015

ABSATF Youth Coalition members are leading new workshops on prescription drug abuse, marijuana, stress management and peer support for youth ages 11 to 15. The Boston Public Health Commission and Health Resources in Action trained the Youth Coalition to design and facilitate this peer-education workshop which takes place at youth-serving organizations in Allston-Brighton. In the 30 to 45 minute workshops, the Youth Coalition leads activities to help participants understand and better manage the challenges they face. To date, the Youth Coalition has presented a total of four workshops at Charlesview Residences and Faneuil Gardens. The Youth Coalition is seeking additional community partners to host these workshops. Please contact the Youth Coalition if you are interested. Pizza is supplied as an incentive for attendees.

Youth between the ages of 14 and 18 who live in or go to school in Allston-Brighton can join the Youth Coalition which meets on the first and third Wednesday afternoons of the month at the Brighton Marine Health Center.

To join the Youth Coalition, please contact abyouthcoalition@gmail.com

Youth Coalition Works to Ban Alcohol Ads on City Property
January 12, 2015

The Youth Coalition has worked ardently to gather support for a ban on alcohol advertising on City of Boston property. Trained in media advocacy, media literacy and photo voice, the Youth Coalition documented alcohol ads in the City in July 2013 and then completed a photo voice project, combining photography with narratives, to demonstrate the ads’ effects on youth. To date they have gathered 250 individual signatures and the support of more than 30 community organizations on their petition. They recently met with a liaison to Mayor Martin Walsh and an aide to City Councilor Mark Ciommo. The next step is to meet with members of the Mayor’s Cabinet. Read the petition here.

ABSATF Shares Strategies with City Connects
December 16, 2014

Helen Connolly, ABSATF program director, and Liz Parsons, ABSATF community coordinator, were panelists earlier this month at a forum discussing prevention strategies and programming for 40 City Connects coordinators who work with students in K-8 in the Boston Public Schools and Catholic schools in Boston. City Connects coordinators link students with health and wellness services. The forum gave them the opportunity to learn about ABSATF, substance abuse concerns in the community, and successful programs and strategies that City Connects coordinators can utilize.

ABSATF Youth Coalition Works toward Alcohol Ad Ban on City Property

The Allston-Brighton Substance Abuse Task Force (ABSATF) Youth Coalition is building awareness of the effects of alcohol advertising on youth and working to gain support for a ban on alcohol advertising on City of Boston property. The ban would include bus shelters, trash/recycling bins and street furniture, among other city property.

The Youth Coalition is advocating for a ban of alcohol advertisements on city property because advertising placement in youth-dominated areas negatively affects the health of youth by increasing underage drinking. Consider these facts:

  • Research shows that greater exposure to alcohol advertising is associated with increased drinking in underage youths. One study showed, “each additional advertisement seen [above the monthly average of 22.7] increased the number of drinks consumed"1
  • The cost of underage drinking in Massachusetts was approximately 1.4 billion dollars in 20102
  • There are inordinately high rates of outdoor alcohol advertising in neighborhoods of color. Consequently, youth of color are exposed to images of alcohol and alcohol-related behaviors in their communities on a daily basis from.3
The ABSATF Youth Coalition is made up of high school students who either live or go to school in Allston-Brighton. The coalition was part of a group that raised awareness of alcohol ads effects on teens, thus leading to a ban of alcohol advertising on MBTA property in 2012.

Help the Youth Coalition by signing the petition to ban alcohol advertisements on City of Boston property. Please email a signed copy of the letter to Liz Parsons at elizabeth.parsons@steward.org or send a hard copy of the signed letter to Liz Parsons, ABSATF Youth Coalition, 77 Warren Street, Building 1, Brighton, MA, 02135.

1. L.B. Snyder, F.F. Milici, M. Slater, H. Sun, and Y. Strizhakova, “Effects of Alcohol Advertising Exposure on Drinking Among Youth,” Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine 160 (2006): 18-24.
2. Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation. Underage drinking in Massachusetts: the facts. Available at: http://www.udetc.org/factsheets/MA.pdf. Accessed July 22, 2014.
3. Alaniz M. Alcohol availability and targeted advertising in racial/ethnic communities. Alcohol Health Res World.1998;22:286-289.

Ado Jean (seated), Haley Grygiel (left) and Schuyler Grygiel (right), work to get community members in Brighton Center to sign their petition to Mayor Walsh to ban alcohol advertisements on city property.


ABSATF, Community Celebrate 11th Annual Walk for Recovery
Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Participants at the 11th Annual Walk for Recovery enjoyed a beautiful sunny morning at Herter-Artesani Park in Brighton. Before setting off on the 5K course along the Charles River, more than 200 participants from the greater Boston area chatted with friends, met with local legislators, and listened to inspiring stories of recovery from several recovery homes, including Granada House, Hope House, and Gavin House.

After thanking ABSATF for hosting the Walk and acknowledging that we were one of the first neighborhoods to do so, guest speaker Boston Mayor Martin Walsh spoke passionately about the importance of recovery services in the city, especially in the wake of the current prescription drug abuse crisis, and the need to remove stigma around addiction and recovery. Mayor Walsh also thanked the Allston-Brighton Youth Coalition for ongoing efforts to ban alcohol advertising on City of Boston property, an initiative that he supports. Other guest speakers included Will Luzier, executive director, Interagency Council on Substance Abuse and Prevention and Maryanne Frangules, executive director, Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery.

ABSATF would like to thank all 2014 Walk for Recovery sponsors. As the Task Force’s federal grant money has come to an end, ABSATF now relies on private and corporate donations to continue the progress it has made since 2008 in the area of substance abuse prevention.

2014 Walk for Recovery sponsors:

  • Boston College
  • Brighton Marine Health Center
  • Addiction Treatment Center of New England
  • Granada House
  • Boston Police Athletic League
  • Suffolk County Sheriff Steve Tompkins
  • State Representative Michael J. Moran
  • St. Elizabeth's Medical Center
  • Peoples Federal Savings Bank
  • Gavin Foundation
  • Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery
  • Joseph M. Smith Community Health Center
  • The Brian J. Honan Charitable Fund
  • Mt. Washington Bank, a Division of East Boston Savings Bank
  • Mark Ciommo, Allston-Brighton District City Councilor
  • Prime Realty Group
  • Houghton Chemical
Walk for Recovery in-kind donors:
  • 3 Scoops Ice Cream
  • Abbott's
  • Bangkok Bistro
  • Centre Salon
  • Mandy and Joe’s Deli
  • Newton Emblem Club
  • Oak Square Dunkin Donuts
  • Oak Square YMCA
  • Sam's Alterations
  • Starbucks
  • Stockyard Restaurant
  • Stone Hearth Pizza
  • Treats on Washington

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