Substance Abuse Prevention & Harm Reduction

The Board of Health will be bringing information on the ever-growing epidemic of substance abuse which is growing exponentially across the country.    We hope to bring an array of useful information, videos, and links to this page.   We will be working on this page and subject continually to try to bring the most current information to the community; this information is currently in its infancy stage so please check back often.

The Board of Health is also hosting a Substance Abuse Forum on May 24th from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Rockport High School Auditorium on Jerden's Lane - Please save the date.  

Like many states, Massachusetts is experiencing a prescription drug and heroin epidemic. In 2014 alone, more than 1,200 residents died of an overdose. Nationally, there are 52,000+ overdose deaths in our country.   Overdose deaths now outnumber those due to car accidents. Not only is this a public safety issue – it is a serious public health issue. Working together, community member, law enforcement, harm reduction agencies, public health officials, and other experienced professionals can commit to collaboratively and collectively helping to end this epidemic.    

It's important to know how to identify and respond to substance abuse so that we can help eradicate the diseases that go along with substance abuse.  It's difficult to know how and why people become addicted to drugs or other substances. Often, we mistake those who use drugs as lacking moral principles or willpower and that they could stop their drug use simply by choosing to. In reality, drug addiction is a very complex disease, and quitting usually takes more than good intentions or a strong will. Drugs can alter the brain in ways that make quitting hard, even for those who have a strong desire to. Research has been helpful in learning  how drugs affect the brain and have found treatments that can help people recover from drug addiction and lead productive lives.