Monthly Parenting tips from Safe Harbor’s Parent Advisor

Topic: Parent Contracts

By Annemarie Whilton, Safe Harbor Cohasset Coalition, July 2023

Some of us have children who do not follow house rules. Drug and alcohol misuse is often the reason.  This can lead to a world of issues including missed curfews, car use, lying, destruction of property, emotional and physical violence.  A parent can feel ineffective. And trapped: because you have a legal responsibility to house and care for them. Even if they have reached the age of 18, it is still hard to ask them to leave when you know they are being unsafe.  

One of the first things a family therapist will suggest is drawing up a family contract.  I have learned a few things that might make this process smoother:

1. Be simple. Don’t try to address every transgression that has occurred. If curfew is important – add an exact time.  If a drug free home is essential – include it.  If damaging private property has been an issue – list that.  What is on the list is not negotiable but for everyone’s sake it should be short and sweet.  Everyone is already exhausted enough.

2. Now we come to the hard part. Consequences. Can you successfully enforce with minimal conflict? For example, there is no reason to wrestle over a phone; you can call Verizon to disconnect it.   If they fail a drug test – will they allow you to watch them take one?  If they steal from you – will you call the police?  Have these questions answered beforehand.  It is never effective to scramble in the moment.  (And if you are like me, your brain freezes – or spins like a Mac wheel.)  

3. Make sure both parents are on the same page.  You need support (and, unfortunately, an addict is mercilessly quick to find the weak link!).

4. Don’t forget that the purpose of the contract is to improve behavior.  When things are going well it is just as important to point that out as it is to monitor the problems.  

5. Contract addendum:  don’t forget your needs – you have a right to a safe and respectful home.  And so do other members of the family.  Siblings often suffer more than they let on.  Save time to check in with them too.  How about scheduling a weekly lunch date with them?  It may prove to be the one bright light in an otherwise very difficult time.

Please click here to learn more about Safe Harbor’s Parent Advisor.

Brain Changes Among Teen Weed Users

By Delaney Ruston, MD, Screenagers, July 2023

“The moment we talk about drugs and the brain, it is common for teens to say to themselves, “There goes those adults saying we are frying our brains by just smoking some weed.’ In my latest film,  “Screenagers Under The Influence,” co-directed by Lisa Tabb and myself, knew we would have to treat the topic and brain development very gingerly since the film needed to resonate with teens (as well as adults).”

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125 of the Best Family-Friendly Activities & Ideas That’ll Keep the Fun Going All Summer Long

By Maryn Liles, Parade, June 2023

“If you’re fresh out of ideas for family-friendly summer activities or other ideas for fun, free things to do, don’t worry! This giant list of 125 of the best summer activities for families will help you keep everyone in your clan entertained. From outdoor entertainment to experiments in the kitchen to new games to try, this list of cool ideas for kids has enough unique ideas for families to ensure that the fun keeps going all summer long.”

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Senator O’Connor Secures Funding For Safe Harbor Cohasset Coalition

Cohasset Anchor, June 2023

“During the Senate Budget debate, the Massachusetts Senate approved an amendment offered by Senator Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth) that will provide $10,000 to the 501©3 Safe Harbor Cohasset to support its programming aiming to reduce and prevent underage substance use and addiction. Since 2014, the Safe Harbor Cohasset Coalition has had community members from the school system, local and state government, as well as law enforcement and faith communities all pulling for the safety and security of the town’s youth. The most important voice at the table planning programming, however, is the youth themselves via Safe Harbor’s Youth Ambassadors.”

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We All Need ‘Sushi Tuesdays’: Lessons In Understanding And Finding A Way Forward After Suicide

By Jodie Sadowsky, CNN Health, June 2023

“Asking people directly about suicidal thoughts may reduce, rather than increase, suicidal ideation, according to a 2014 review of scholarly literature in the journal Psychological Medicine.”

“That does require that people look for and notice signs that others may be struggling, such as changes in mood, behavior, appetite or sleep habits or that they are giving away cherished possessions.”

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Social Media Is Driving Teen Mental Health Crisis, Surgeon General Warns

By Erika Edwards and Hallie Jackson, NBC News, May 2023

“Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, long a proponent of mental health awareness, has issued a warning that social media use is a main contributor to depression, anxiety and other problems in the nation’s teenagers.”

“The report, released Tuesday, calls attention to growing concerns about the effects of social media use on children and adolescent’s mental health. The advisory urges policymakers and the companies that make the social media platforms to share with parents the burden of managing children’s and adolescents’ social media use.”

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Mass. Set Up A Mental Health Hotline. 6,000 People Called In The First 3 Months

By Deborah Becker, WBUR, May 2023

“Massachusetts health officials are taking steps meant to improve access to mental health care. One pillar of their ambitious effort is a new helpline to assist people seeking treatment. It promises to connect callers with mental health services — 24 hours a day — and it’s free.”

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Safe Harbor Youth Ambassador of The Month: Louisa Vanderweil

By Laila Al Rashid and Samantha Kearney, The Cohasset Anchor, May 2023

Hello Cohasset! For the month of May, we are excited to honor Louisa Vanderweil as Youth Ambassador of the month. Louisa is in the eighth grade at Derby Academy and joined Safe Harbor’s Cohasset Youth Ambassadors (CYA) program to advocate against substance abuse in her town in a meaningful way.

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Screen Time, Fentanyl, And How to Talk With Kids

By Delaney Ruston, MD, Screenagers, April 2023

“When I was growing up, we never had this level of exposure in shows to hard drugs like our kids do today. We also did not have fentanyl. This human-made opioid is an extremely dangerous substance because the tiniest amount can be lethal. Because it is so potent, people who make drugs to sell know they can just add a small amount to a binder, and voila, they have a drug to sell — and they don’t say it has fentanyl, often just telling their customers it is Oxycodone or Ativan, etc.”

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FDA Approves First Over-The-Counter Version Of Opioid Overdose Antidote Narcan

By Nadia Kounang, Jen Christensen and Deidre McPhillips, CNN, March 2023

CNN-With drug overdose deaths continuing to hover near record levels, the US Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved for the first time an over-the-counter version of the opioid overdose antidote Narcan.

“The FDA remains committed to addressing the evolving complexities of the overdose crisis. As part of this work, the agency has used its regulatory authority to facilitate greater access to naloxone by encouraging the development of and approving an over-the-counter naloxone product to address the dire public health need,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf said in a statement.

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Why Parents’ #1 Discipline Action Is Often Unwise

By Delaney Ruston, MD, Screenagers, March 2023

“When kids break rules at home, how to respond? The issue of consequences can be incredibly tricky. As parents, we grapple with questions such as what consequences make the most sense and what is too harsh or too lenient.”

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New Meditation Space in Cohasset at Calm & Connected!

March 2023

Long-time supporter of Safe Harbor’s mission, Kristen Dean, opens a new meditation space in Cohasset! Whether you are looking to learn how to meditate or deepen your practice, she looks forward to connecting with you.

Managing stress, creating more resiliency or improving your ability to focus on the present are some of the benefits meditation has to offer. Group and private classes are also offered weekly and available by request.

To learn more or book an appointment, please visit click here.

Confronting the Teen Mental Health Crisis, One Anonymous Post At A Time

By Marcela Garcia, The Boston Globe, March 2023

Sophie Nystuen of Brookline offers a safe, therapeutic space on the Internet where teens can express themselves and unload their feelings and stress.

42 percent of all teens said they’d felt so sad or hopeless that they couldn’t engage in regular activities, such as schoolwork or sports, for at least two weeks, a percentage that has risen by 50 percent in the last decade.

America’s teens are going through a mental health crisis. And one local teenager is doing something about it.

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Overdose Prevention Night Planned Through East Coast Recovery Center/Safe Harbor Collaboration

By Carol Britton Meyer, Cohasset Anchor, February, 2023

East Coast Recovery Center is partnering with the Cohasset Safe Harbor Coalition to present an Overdose Prevention Night for the community Wednesday, March 8, from 6 to 7 p.m. at 215 Chief Justice Cushing Hwy., where the Center is located.

The purpose of the event is to share current trends affecting the community, provide information about how to respond to an overdose, and to offer Narcan training. Narcan — also known as Naloxone — is used to reverse the effects of a heroin or other opioid overdose and will be available free of charge at the event.

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Grieving Scituate Family Leads Push To Toughen Fentanyl Laws

By Peter Blandino, The Patriot Ledger, February, 2023

  • The Sheas lost their son, Gregory, to a fentanyl overdose in February 2021. He was 21.
  • State Sen. Patrick O’Connor responded by filing legislation that would stiffen penalties for opioid distribution.
  • Through a nonprofit, the Shea family hopes to help other South Shore families grapple with the effects of the opioid crisis.

“It was a Tuesday evening in February of 2021 when Alyson and Greg Shea listened to their youngest of five children, also named Greg, wonder out loud about his future, trying out names for the children he planned to have someday.”

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February Youth Ambassador Of The Month: Grant Wilson

By Laila Al Rashid & Sam Kearney, Cohasset Anchor, February, 2023

Hello Cohasset! For the month of February, we are excited to honor Grant Wilson as Youth Ambassador of the month. Grant is in the eighth grade at Cohasset Middle School and joined Safe Harbor’s Cohasset Youth Ambassadors (CYA) program last year to help his community and cultivate feelings of fulfillment from giving back.

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Cohasset Academics Marijuana PSA

By Donal Garrity Safe Harbor Cohasset Coalition, February, 2023

It’s no secret Cohasset is a high achieving community. No matter what your goal is after graduation, you’re going to need your ability to learn to get there. When present you chooses to use marijuana, you’re putting future you at risk. Want to know how? Check out our latest PSA.

Please click here to watch on YouTube.

Teens, Especially Girls, Are Experiencing More Violence, Suicidal Thoughts And Mental Health Challenges, CDC Survey Finds

By CNN Health, February, 2023

Dr. Debra Houry, CDC’s chief medical officer and deputy director for program and science says:

“It’s critical to talk with our children about what they’re feeling and their concerns. I’m urging our families to come together, look for signs, look for ways that you can have these conversations with your children. Get to know them. Have these routine conversations all the time.”

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Stay tuned for more information on how Youth Ambassadors are taking action to spread mental health awareness.

Former Safe Harbor Youth Ambassador Leader Returning In A New Role

By Carol Britten Meyer , Cohasset Anchor, February, 2023

“Margaret Curley, who grew up in Cohasset, has come full circle in her work with the Safe Harbor Cohasset Coalition, first as a youth leader four years ago for the Youth Ambassador program and now in her new role as project coordinator.”

“Curley is currently pursuing a degree in public health, inspired by her experiences with Safe Harbor. She is graduating from American University this May and is applying to graduate school.”

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Cohasset’s East Coast Recovery-Newest Community Narcan Provider

East Coast Recovery in Cohasset is excited to announce that, in partnership with Safe Harbor Cohasset, they are a Commonwealth of Massachusetts’s Bureau of Substance Addiction Services (BSAS) licensed Community Narcan Provider. 

Free Narcan kits are now available to anyone in the community, along with confidential, individual training. Need Narcan? It’s FREE and available by appointment.

Email Kristen at East Coast at or Safe Harbor Cohasset at

January Youth Ambassador Of The Month: Sarah Conroy

By Laila Al Rashid & Sam Kearney, Cohasset Anchor, January, 2023

Hello Cohasset – Happy New Year! For the month of January, we are excited to honor Sarah Conroy as Youth Ambassador of the month. Sarah is a senior at Cohasset High School and joined Safe Harbor’s Cohasset Youth Ambassadors (CYA) program in the hopes of getting outside of her comfort zone, becoming more involved in the community, and taking on a leadership role.

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Tranq Dope: Animal Sedative Mixed With Fentanyl Brings Fresh Horror to U.S. Drug Zones

By Jan Hoffman, The New York Times, January, 2023

PHILADELPHIA — Over a matter of weeks, Tracey McCann watched in horror as the bruises she was accustomed to getting from injecting fentanyl began hardening into an armor of crusty, blackened tissue. Something must have gotten into the supply.

Switching corner dealers didn’t help. People were saying that everyone’s dope was being cut with something that was causing gruesome, painful wounds.

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Is Your Child At Risk? A Substance Use Risk Assessment Tool From Partnership To End Addiction

Check out this new 5-6 minute survey, created by Partnership To End Addiction. This risk assessment is designed to help you better understand the risks your child may face related to mental healthwell-beingpersonalityfamily history, and their environment.

You can take actions to reduce the chances your child will use substances or experience problems with them based on your results.

Please click here to learn more and take the assessment.

Increase In Adolescent Drug Overdose Deaths

By Celeste Krewson, Contemporary Pediatrics, December 2022

The CDC has reported an increase in drug overdose deaths from 2019 to 2022 in adolescents aged 10 to 19 years.

Drug overdose deaths in youths aged 10 to 19 years increased 109% from July to December 2019, to July to December 2021, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

An estimated 108,000 deaths from drug overdose occurred in 2021, with drug overdose deaths among individuals aged 14 to 18 years increasing 94% from 2019 to 2020 and 20% from 2020 to 2021. These results occurred despite a decrease in illegal drug use among middle and high school students during this time.

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As Legal Pot Grows, More Kids Sickened By Edibles At Home

By Jonel Aleccia, Associated Press, January, 2023

“The number of young kids, especially toddlers, who accidentally ate marijuana-laced treats rose sharply over five years as pot became legal in more places in the U.S., according to a study published Tuesday. “

“More than 7,000 confirmed cases of kids younger than 6 eating marijuana edibles were reported to the nation’s poison control centers between 2017 and 2021, climbing from about 200 to more than 3,000 per year.”

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Overdose Deaths Increase In Plymouth County

By Johanna Seltz, The Boston Globe, January 2023

“In the first part of December, the number of fatal overdoses in Plymouth County spiked to its highest point of any month in 2022.”

“There were 13 fatal overdoses from Dec. 1 to 19, according to the county’s 27 police chiefs and the organization Plymouth County Outreach, which works to reduce overdose fatalities and support addicts and their families. That compares to seven in the entire month of December in 2021.”

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Youth Ambassadors Participate in Cohasset’s Annual Holiday Stroll

By Laila Al Rashid & Sam Kearney, Cohasset Anchor, December 2022

On Saturday, December 10th, Safe Harbor Youth Ambassadors hosted a table at Cohasset Village’s annual holiday stroll. Youth Ambassadors handed out literature at an information table, while inviting visitors to play a round of “CYA Jeopardy,” based on the popular game show. Community members of all ages played, winning various prizes such as candy and Safe Harbor merchandise.

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As A Parent Living With Mental Health Issues, The Holidays Can Be Hard

By Holly Garcia, Yahoo!Life, December 2022

“Every year, I tell myself the holidays are going to be different.”

“This year the girls and I are going to decorate the entire house. This year I’m going to be extra creative with Elf on the Shelf. This year we’re going to start new holiday traditions and carry on the ones I hold near and dear from my childhood. But this year, and every year, it’s always easier said than done. I don’t care what anyone says. Living with mental health issues during the holiday is so hard.”

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Evoke Wellness Partners with Safe Harbor To Provide a “SAFE” Bed to a Cohasset Resident in Need

In partnership with Safe Harbor Cohasset Coalition, the center will offer a SAFE Bed scholarship, a bed available only to Cohasset residents who are without the resources to pay for treatment. 

Evoke Wellness, located on Route 3A in Cohasset, is an addiction treatment center offering medical detoxification, residential treatment, dual-diagnosis treatment, family support, after care and more.

For more information or to apply for a SAFE Bed scholarship please contact Evoke Wellness at 617-299-8886. 

December Youth Ambassador Of The Month: Faisal Al Rashid

By Laila Al Rashid & Sam Kearney, Cohasset Anchor, December 2022

Hello Cohasset! We are excited to honor Faisal Al Rashid as December’s Youth Ambassador of the month. Faisal, a freshman at Cohasset High School, has been a member of Safe Harbor’s Cohasset Youth Ambassadors (CYA) program since September, 2021 and joined because he wanted to make a positive impact in his community. After experiencing the motivating and safe community that CYA provides, Faisal decided to commit himself to the program. His favorite event so far with CYA has been Cohasset Minds Matter, as he appreciated seeing Cohasset residents enjoying the day that Youth Ambassadors had spent months planning. Faisal is ambitious about his role in our community, and hopes to continue growing as a CYA member, eventually taking on a role with more responsibility.

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Cohasset Youth Ambassadors Host Annual “Sticker Shock” Campaign at Curtis Liquors

By Laila Al Rashid & Sam Kearney, Cohasset Anchor, December 2022

Hello Cohasset – we hope that you had a happy and safe Thanksgiving! With the holiday season here, Cohasset Youth Ambassadors (CYA) hosted our annual Sticker Shock campaign at Curtis Liquors on Wednesday, November 30th. Twenty-three Ambassadors met to place informational stickers on alcoholic beverages at Curtis Liquors, Cohasset’s largest liquor store. Through the generosity of Curtis Liquors, Youth Ambassadors spent half an hour placing stickers throughout the store on 1000 cases of beer and seltzer. These educational stickers were placed on alcohol products that are popular choices requested to be purchased by youth under the age of 21.

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Cohasset Police Department To Participate In “Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over” Campaign

By Cohasset Police Department, Cohasset Anchor, December 2022

The Cohasset Police Department will join other departments across the state and the Massachusetts State Police in the campaign. Police urge motorists who have been drinking or using marijuana or other drugs to plan ahead and designate a driver, use a ride-sharing service or take public transportation.

The campaign runs from Dec. 1 to Dec. 31. During that time, the Cohasset Police Department will have several officers on the lookout for impaired and reckless drivers on the roads. Everyone is reminded to never get behind the wheel if they have been drinking and to never get into a vehicle if the driver is impaired.

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Paul Krasinski, Tech Mogul Brother of Actor John, Is Inspiring Young People to Succeed at His Mass. Retreat

By Abigail Adams, People, November, 2022

“Meet Paul Krasinski, the tech mogul brother of actor John Krasinski, who dreams of empowering today’s youth with his newest venture. Tucked away in a cozy corner of Plymouth, Mass., is The Farmhouse, a breathtaking 10-acre retreat that Paul proudly calls his passion project.”

“The Farmhouse offers opportunities for young people to grow personally and professionally via interactive programming and face-to-face interactions, he tells PEOPLE. The goal, he adds, is to help young people discover their true passion in life — from serving the environment to more creative endeavors — while also giving them the tools they need to follow their dreams and help create change in the word.”

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November Youth Ambassador Of The Month: Hannah Hession

By Laila Al Rashid & Sam Kearney, Cohasset Anchor, November, 2022

Hello Cohasset! This month we are excited to honor Hannah Hession as November’s Youth Ambassador of the Month. A senior at Cohasset High School, Hannah joined the Cohasset Youth Ambassadors (CYA) because she feels passionate about helping her community in any way she can.

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Teens And Stress Management

By Youth Health Connection-Part Of South Shore Health, November 2022

Some stress in high school is normal, even healthy, but parents should be aware of red flags from too much stress.

“In addition to modern-day stressors like year-round sports and increasingly competitive college admissions, teens are also hyper-aware of the world around them. There might have been a time when parents could shield their teens from some of those anxieties, but the internet has made that a thing of the past.”

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Cohasset Youth Ambassadors Announce Winners of 2022 Pumpkin Decorating Contest

By Laila Al Rashid & Sam Kearney, Cohasset Anchor, November 2022

“Hello Cohasset! We hope that you had a healthy and safe Halloween this year. We are excited to announce the winners of this year’s pumpkin decorating contest! More than 50 pumpkins were on display throughout the Village after a week of decorating. The pumpkins were handed out at the ASP Pumpkin Patch in mid-October for free to all registered residents.”

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The Real Deal On Fentanyl

By Ad Council

More Americans are dying of drug overdoses than ever before. Why? A synthetic opioid called fentanyl is making drugs even more deadly.

“As the overdose crisis continues to impact this country, the Ad Council is committed to tackling this issue holistically, and we’re pleased to share the first phase of our approach with you. This first campaign aims to educate young Americans about the dangers and prevalence of fentanyl, as many young people are unaware that fentanyl is appearing as a contaminant in illicit powdered drugs and being used to create counterfeit prescription pills.”

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When It Comes To Addiction, Americans’ Word Choices Are Part Of The Problem

By Lev Facher, STAT News, October, 2022

“As drugs and alcohol claim 200,000 lives each year, many who seek addiction treatment are greeted by the harsh, stigmatizing labels that many Americans don’t think twice about: Words like addict, alcoholic, junkie, abuser, or worse.”

“Even as the nation’s substance use crisis has escalated, however, new research has emerged showing that simple word choices can have a big impact on the way health professionals view their patients and, accordingly, the care they receive.”

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Cohasset Youth Ambassadors Host Pumpkin Decorating Contest

By Laila Al Rashid and Sam Kearney, Cohasset Anchor, October, 2022

Happy Halloween Cohasset! Cohasset Youth Ambassadors would like to invite you to participate in our second Pumpkin Decorating Contest. Participants will receive a pumpkin and decorate it to celebrate our community and compete for a gift card prize. All participants will also get a goodie bag when they drop off their pumpkins. The pumpkins will be displayed throughout Cohasset Village during the judging period and all Cohasset residents are invited to participate in the voting.

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Anxiety Screening For Children Should Begin As Early As Age 8, Task Force Advises

By Erika Edwards NBC News, October, 2022

“Pediatricians should screen children as young as 8 for anxiety and kids 12 and older for depression during routine well checks, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force said Tuesday.”

“The recommendation from the independent panel of experts applies to children who aren’t showing any signs or symptoms of a mental health problem. Children who are — regardless of age — should be referred for specialized care, task force member Lori Pbert said.”

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Youth Ambassador Of The Month: Dominique Vecchiolla

By Laila Al Rashid & Sam Kearney, Cohasset Anchor, October, 2022

Hello Cohasset – Happy Autumn! Safe Harbor’s Cohasset Youth Ambassadors (CYA) program is off to a great start. After having a successful first month, we are excited to honor Dominique Vecchiolla as October’s Youth Ambassador of the Month. A current seventh grader at Cohasset Middle School, Dominique joined the CYA program this year because she strongly believes that promoting mental health and wellbeing builds a stronger community.

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Addiction Often Goes Hand-In-Hand With Mental Illnesses —Both Must Be Addressed

By Dr. Nora Volkow, NIDA, September, 2022

Recovering from drug addiction is notoriously difficult. Setbacks are common. Too often, a critical element is overlooked: co-occurring mental health conditions. Treating mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, ADHD, and others with medications or other therapies is crucial to address the addiction and overdose crisis that now claims over 100,000 lives annually.

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DEA Warns of Brightly-Colored Fentanyl Used to Target Young Americans

Press Release, DEA August, 2022

WASHINGTON – The Drug Enforcement Administration is advising the public of an alarming emerging trend of colorful fentanyl available across the United States.  In August 2022, DEA and our law enforcement partners seized brightly-colored fentanyl and fentanyl pills in 18 states.  Dubbed “rainbow fentanyl” in the media, this trend appears to be a new method used by drug cartels to sell highly addictive and potentially deadly fentanyl made to look like candy to children and young people.

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Safe Harbor Secures 5 More Years of Federal Funding

Press Release by Nicole Balaschi, Program Director, Safe Harbor September, 2022

The Town of Cohasset’s Safe Harbor Cohasset Coalition will continue as a beacon for raising awareness, and of education and prevention of substance misuse, as they recently received the Federal grant renewal that will enable the organization to keep going.

The grant is in the amount of $625,000, $125,000 per year from 2022- 2027, and will cover the salary of the Director, a full-time Project Coordinator, and support hours of effort put in by our Youth Ambassador Leaders.

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Safe Harbor Youth Ambassador Of The Month: Jack Kearney

By Laila Al Rashid & Sam Kearney, Cohasset Anchor, September, 2022

Hello Cohasset! We hope you had a fantastic summer at Sandy Beach or enjoying food downtown. We have been busy planning another year of events for Safe Harbor’s Cohasset Youth Ambassadors with over 45 students participating and we are excited to continue writing to you about our projects!

We would like to kick off the year by highlighting Jack Kearney as Youth Ambassador of the Month! Currently a freshman at Cohasset High School, Jack joined Safe Harbor’s Cohasset Youth Ambassadors (CYA) program in September, 2021 after experiencing the ways substance abuse has affected the lives of those he cares about.

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Upward Spiral: From Addiction To Healing Exhibit 2022

Press Release by Nicole Balaschi, Safe Harbor, September, 2022

Mark your calendar for Cohasset’s 5th annual exhibit in support of National Recovery Month*- Upward Spiral- From Addiction To Healing. Hosted by Safe Harbor, South Shore Art Center and Paul Pratt Memorial Library, this exhibit premieres in the Meeting Room of the Paul Pratt Memorial Library on September 9th and will be viewable through October 26th, 2022.

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Dangers Of Underaged Binge Drinking & The Value Of Early Discussions About Alcohol

By Pran Teelucksingh, Brown University A.B. Public Health, Class of 2025 & Safe Harbor Intern, August, 2022

Former Cohasset High School student Pran Teelucksingh, now a sophomore at Brown University, spent this past summer interning with Safe Harbor. His objective was to increase awareness about the importance of discussing alcohol expectations earlier and often, specifically between middle school parents and students.

Please click here to read Pran’s article!

Keep An Eye On Your Student’s Mental Health This Back-To-School Season

By Sequoia Carrillo, NPR, August 2022

While the pandemic caused widespread disruption to learning, one of the biggest concerns, for students of all ages, has been how it has affected their mental health. High numbers of teenagers have reported persistently feeling sad or hopeless, and the Biden Administration has tried to make student mental health a priority.

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MA Summary Of Unintentional & Undetermined Drug Overdose Deaths


Below is the “Summary of Unintentional and Undetermined Intent Drug Overdose Deaths” for Massachusetts. This information is a product of CDC’s State Unintentional Drug Overdose Reporting System (SUDORS). Please click on the image for a larger version. 

Animal Tranquilizer Xylazine Is Making Street Drugs Even More Dangerous

By Martha Bebinger, WBUR via NPR, August, 2022

“Xylazine is an animal tranquilizer. It’s not approved for humans, but it’s showing up in about half of the drug samples that Tapestry tests in the rolling hills of western Massachusetts. It’s appearing mostly in the illegal fentanyl supply but also in cocaine.”

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Community Invited To Participate In Aug. 31 Safe Harbor Annual Candlelight Vigil

By Carol Britton Meyer, The Cohasset Anchor, August, 2022

“This year’s vigil will be held on the evening of International Overdose Awareness Day — a global campaign to end overdose, remember without stigma those who have died, and acknowledge the grief of family and friends who have been left behind.”

“The vigil also serves as the unofficial kick-off of Safe Harbor, Paul Pratt Memorial Library, and South Shore Art Center’s month-long ‘Upward Spiral’ series of events, in recognition of National Recovery Month.”

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Her Daughter Nearly Died From Opioid Addiction: What One Mom Wants You To Know

By Rachel Paula Abrahamson, TODAY, August, 2022

“When Linda and David Rosenberg dropped their daughter Melissa off at Trinity College in 2001, they drove home feeling excited about her future.”

“It didn’t cross Linda’s mind to have a “watch the partying” talk with her eldest child. Melissa had experimented with alcohol and marijuana in high school, but there weren’t any red flags, Linda said. She never came home stumbling after a night out with friends. Then, Melissa discovered cocaine.”

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No Going Back To Normal-Addressing the complexities of children’s mental health

By Jacob Sweet, Harvard Magazine, July, 2022

“Even before COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that one in five children had a mental disorder, only 20 percent of whom received care from a mental health provider. According to the CDC, the proportion of high school students who reported persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness increased from 26.1 percent to 36.7 percent between 2009 and 2019—an increase of more than 40 percent. Those who had considered attempting suicide rose from 13.8 percent to 18.8 percent.”

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Marijuana Talk Kit

By Partnership To End Addiction

Marijuana — legal or otherwise — is a hot topic. It’s more important than ever for parents and caregivers to protect their kids’ health and development by addressing this issue early and often.

This Talk Kit helps to set the stage to have an open dialogue with your about marijuana, but also is applicable in helping talk through the many issues facing teens.

Please click here to continue.

5th Annual Candlelight Vigil

Safe Harbor July, 2022

It’s hard to believe that we are already approaching our 5th annual candlelight vigil. Safe Harbor welcomes anyone who has been impacted and/or has lost a loved one to addiction to join us on August 31, 2022.  This year’s vigil will be held on the evening of International Overdose Awareness Day- a global event aiming to reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths, and acknowledge the grief felt by friends and families while raising overdose awareness.  Community members are welcome to gather from 6:45-7:45pm together at Cohasset’s Town Common.

The vigil will include words of guidance, loss and hope delivered by community members and by poems written by those personally impacted. Additional inspiration through youth performance by Lizzy Power. We will remember those who have been lost to any kind of substance misuse, uplift our loved ones left behind, and acknowledge the strength and perseverance of the many among us struggling with addiction. Please click here for the official press release!

The New 988 Mental Health Hotline Is Live. Here’s What To Know

By Rhitu Chatterjee, NPR, July, 2022

“Modeled after 911, the new three-digit 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is designed to be a memorable and quick number that connects people who are suicidal or in any other mental health crisis to a trained mental health professional.”

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Drinking Alone As A Young Person Linked To Later Alcohol Use Disorder

By Becky Upham, Everyday Health, July, 2022

“Drinking alone during adolescence and young adulthood is associated with a higher risk of alcohol use disorder (AUD) later in life, and this risk is especially high for women, according to a new study published on July 11 in Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

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‘What’s on your mind?’: Massachusetts Call Centers, Mental Health Provider Ready For Rollout Of National 988 Hotline

By Jim Kinney, The Republican, MassLive, July, 2022

“There are five agencies in Massachusetts that will take the calls, just as they take calls that come in on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline now. They includes Framingham-based Call2Talk, run by United Way organizations, with a local office on Main Street in Springfield.”

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SUDORS Interactive Dashboard: Fatal Overdose Data

By Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) June, 2022

The drug overdose death data presented below come from the CDC’s State Unintentional Drug Overdose Reporting System (SUDORS). SUDORS provides comprehensive data on unintentional and undetermined intent drug overdose deaths collected from death certificates and medical examiner/coroner reports (including scene findings, autopsy reports, and full postmortem toxicology findings). Data presented here include annual counts, percentages, and rates of drug overdose deaths per 100,000 persons.

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Can A Mental Health App Help You Deal With Anxiety?

By Antonia Mufarech, Smithsonian Magazine, June, 2022

“The everyday stressors of modern life would take a toll on anyone’s mental health, but the past few years, with mounting social unrest, the ever-increasing threat of climate change, a rise in violent crime, intractable political debates over what are seemingly basic human rights, and of course, a deadly pandemic, have exacerbated the matter considerably.”

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Evelyn Dickey & Maeve Kearney: A Farewell To Our Youth Leaders

By Laila Al Rashid & Sam Kearney, Cohasset Anchor, June, 2022

“Hello Cohasset! Laila and Sam here to say thank you and farewell to two leaders of the Cohasset Youth Ambassadors (CYA) who recently graduated from Cohasset High School,
Evelyn Dickey and Maeve Kearney!”

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Mass. House Joins Senate In Mental Health Push

By Katie Lannan, State House News Service, WGBH, June, 2022

“A mental and behavioral health care access bill cleared the Massachusetts House on unanimous vote Thursday, and representatives will now have a little over six weeks to reconcile their plan with its Senate counterpart if they hope to get a final version to Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk by the July 31 end of formal legislative sessions.”

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Think You’re OK Because You Only Drink On Weekends? Think Again, Study Says

By Sandee LaMotte, CNN June, 2022

“You consider yourself a light-to-moderate drinker, having the occasional cocktail or glass of wine with dinner and only tossing back a few extra glasses of liquid refreshment at social gatherings on weekends. By most standards, you’d be right — because drinking is typically tracked as an average over the week.”

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Laila Al Rashid & Sam Kearney: June Cohasset Youth Ambassadors Of The Month!

By Maeve Kearney & Evelyn Dickey, Cohasset Anchor, June, 2022

“Hello Cohasset! It’s Maeve and Evelyn-back to write to you one last time before we graduate high school, and move on to our next adventures at university! We are pleased to feature not one, but two amazing Cohasset shining stars- Cohasset High School (CHS) students Laila Al Rashid and Sam Kearney, our June Youth Ambassadors of the Month, and the amazing Youth Leaders who plan to take over writing community youth news features in the Cohasset Anchor for the 2022-23 academic year!”

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As Alcohol Home Delivery Persists, Public Health Officials Worry About Substance Abuse

By Kirk Carapezza, WGBH, June, 2022

“Home delivery of alcohol has skyrocketed in Massachusetts since the start of the pandemic, raising concerns about increases in substance abuse and minors’ alcohol consumption.

State alcohol regulators say home deliveries of beer, wine and liquor are up 300% since February 2020.”

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By Maeve Kearney & Evelyn Dickey, Cohasset Anchor, May, 2022

“Hello Cohasset! We are back this week to showcase a Cohasset Youth Ambassadors (CYA) sponsored event, “Substance Use: Sharing Our Story”, a substance misuse awareness panel that took place on May 10th. CYA program Youth Leaders Noah McDowall and Laila Al Rashid saw their hard work come to fruition at what was a very successful event with over fifty attendees. Noah and Laila worked closely with their fellow Ambassadors Mateo Reyes, Aydin Tiryaki, and Harrison Babuschak in the planning and execution of the event, including inviting the panelists as well as preparing panel questions. Some of questions included “How has substance use affected your mental health? Your relationships?” and “Are you willing to tell others about your/family members’ addiction?” The group also collaborated with 7th and 8th grade Ambassadors, to provide feedback on how to increase youth event turnout around town.”

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By Raising Teens Today

“Whether your child is venturing off to college or starting their career, the following are 21 essential life skills for teens that parents agree teens should know before they fly the coop and take on this world as an independent adult.”

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By Alyssa Fell, The Patriot Ledger, May, 2022

“COHASSET – Safe Harbor’s Cohasset Youth Ambassadors will spotlight the hidden struggles many people face with the group’s first Cohasset Minds Matter: A Community Wide Day for Mental Health Awareness.

The free event, aimed to destigmatize mental health issues, will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 21, on the Cohasset Town Common.”

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Video By CBS Evening News, May, 2022

A Virginia treatment center uses music therapy to help people get sober through song. After nearly losing her life to drugs, Abby Aposporos said the program taught her how to live again. Nikole Killion has more.

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By Maeve Kearney & Evelyn Dickey, Cohasset Anchor, May, 2022

“Hello Cohasset-happy spring! As we step into the month of May, it is time that we take a moment to recognize  our amazing senior Cohasset Youth Ambassadors (CYA) that are graduating this month. The CYA program  would not be the same without them, and all that they have accomplished over the last four years.”

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Press Release from Cohasset Youth Ambassadors , Cohasset Anchor, April 2022

“Hello Cohasset! Safe Harbor’s Cohasset Youth Ambassadors program wants YOU to join us on the Cohasset Town Common, Saturday, May 21st, from 1-3:00 pm for our first ever Cohasset Minds Matter event. Cohasset Minds Matter is a free event that welcomes all community members of all ages to participate in activities, including yoga instruction and guided meditation, meant to raise awareness around coping strategies for mental health.”

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By Elaisha Stokes, CBS News , April 2022

“At 16, Turner amassed over 600,000 followers on the social media platform TikTok. And that’s just in the last two years. His sudden popularity on the app has led to lucrative brand deals and opportunities to act on screen. By all counts, Turner is living the dream.”

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By Susannah Sudborough, Boston,com , April 2022

“A new study out of Brigham and Women’s Hospital links bad sleep patterns to negative mental health symptoms. The study, which was published in Sleep Health, evaluated adults and their sleep patterns before the pandemic and in June 2020.”

“It found that a lack of sleep and inconsistent sleep timing are associated with negative mental health symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and substance use.”

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Press Release By Laila Al Rashid, Cohasset Youth Ambassadors, April 2022

Safe Harbor’s Cohasset Youth Ambassadors are excited to announce “Substance Use: Sharing Our Story”, a substance misuse awareness panel led by two of the Youth Ambassador Leaders, Noah McDowall and Laila Al Rashid. The event will take place at the Cohasset High School Auditorium on Tuesday, May 10th at 6:30-8pm.

This is a free event Cohasset youth and their families will not want to miss! Realities of substance misuse will be brought to light when panelists share raw stories that resonate with each and every one of us. Panelists include Michael Duggan, Kristen Esson, Annemarie Whilton, and SRO Greg Taylor, touching on sports injuries, decisions that impact our future careers, the struggles of addiction in the family, and the resources available even at an early age, with time for Q&A at the end.

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By Maeve Kearney & Evelyn Dickey, Cohasset Anchor, April, 2022

Hi Cohasset! Maeve and Evelyn are back writing to you this week with our next installment of Youth  Ambassador Of the Month. This April, we are so excited to highlight Cohasset Middle School student, Sari Reyes. Sari, a seventh grade student, joined the Youth Ambassadors program following in the footsteps of her brother, Cohasset High School student Mateo Reyes-who has participated in the Youth Ambassadors program for several years. Although she did initially hear about the program from her brother, Sari joined the Youth  Ambassadors because she genuinely cares for her community, and wants to be actively involved. Additionally, Sari also that she has grown up understanding that there are dangers surrounding alcohol and drugs, but wanted to learn more about why, and how she can help family members and friends who are potentially struggling.

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By Maria Abenes, EdD, Psychiatric Times, April, 2022

“The full picture of teenagers’ experience of COVID-19 is just beginning to emerge. The school closures, canceled proms, and separation from friends seemed a small price to pay to save the lives of thousands—but in exchange, the adolescents who represent the younger side of Generation Z were robbed of the capstone of their formative years. It created an atmosphere of uncertainty and anxiety among some teens, about both the future and their place in it.”

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By Jim Morelli, Boston 25 News, March 2022

“BOSTON, Mass. — It should come as no surprise — but that doesn’t make the problem any less distressing: teens using e-cigarettes are sometimes struggling to stop using them.”

“A recent study finds the percentage of teens making an attempt to quit e-cigarettes, but failing, is more than double the proportion trying and failing to quit regular cigarettes. The research appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association.”

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By Maeve Kearney and Evelyn Dickey, Cohasset Anchor, March 2022

“Hello Cohasset, how are YA? Evelyn & Maeve are back this week, writing to you about how our Youth Ambassadors (YA) are on a mission to promote positive self-care for themselves, and for others! While mental health is still somewhat of a stigmatized topic that can be hard to hold conversations around, Cohasset Youth Ambassadors are dedicated to breaking down this barrier.”

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By Karen Brown, New England Public Media, March 2022

“Amherst, Massachusetts’ new town department – Community Responders for Equity, Safety and Service (CRESS) – has a new director this week. The department joins several other initiatives in western Massachusetts that offer alternatives to police when a call involves a mental health crisis.”

“CRESS will send responders trained in mental health to many 911 calls currently handled by the police. Director Earl Miller said they will work directly with emergency dispatchers, and not under the police.”

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By Karen Anderson, WCVB5, March 2022

“A crisis in mental health care has created a new program aimed at reducing the number of kids stuck in emergency rooms for days, even weeks, waiting for a psychiatric bed to become available.”

“To Patrick, a father who asked to be called only by his first name, the program has given them hope they didn’t have before.”

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By Roni Caryn Rabin, The New York Times, March 2022

“Numerous reports have suggested that Americans drank more to cope with the stress of the pandemic. Binge drinking increased, as did emergency room visits for alcohol withdrawal. But the new report found that the number of alcohol-related deaths, including from liver disease and accidents, soared, rising to 99,017 in 2020, up from 78,927 the previous year — an increase of 25 percent in the number of deaths in one year.”

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By Sari Reyes, Cohasset Youth Ambassadors Middle School Reporter, Cohasset Anchor, March, 2022

“Among the dangers we face as youth, is vaping and smoking. To be effective, prevention needs to start at a  young age. Cohasset Youth Ambassadors came to the rescue with a plan to teach current 3rd graders about  the dangers related to smoking and vaping with a presentation from the Samantha Skunk Program.”

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