Healthy Gloucester works with students, educators, parents, seniors, faith leaders, businesses, law enforcement and city officials to promote a healthy community and a drug free environment for our youth and children. Through community-wide events, informational activities, trainings, awareness campaigns, and  ongoing discussions, Healthy Gloucester is preventing substance abuse and promoting change. Healthy Gloucester provides the community with the following ongoing programs:

  • Safe Rx Prescription Medication Disposal
  • Overdose Prevention Education, Referrals and Services
  • Learn to Cope Support Group
  • Underage Drinking Prevention and Education
  • Physician & Addiction Treatment Provider Roundtable

Rx Prescription Medication Disposal Program

In effort to keep Gloucester youth safe and protect the clean water supply, the community-wide Medication Disposal Program was developed and is now recognized as a model program within MA.  Since 2008, Gloucester residents can safely dispose prescription drugs 24/7 at the Gloucester Police Station. Items accepted: prescription and over-the-counter medication, medication samples, narcotics, liquid medications, vitamins and veterinary medications.  Items NOT accepted: syringes, needles, bloody or infectious waste, thermometers, IV bags, empty containers, hydrogen peroxide, personal care products, and inhalers. Please consider posting the “Medication Disposal Flier” at your place of business, residence or community site.

Gloucester Overdose Prevention Project

Gloucester was identified by the MA Bureau of Substance Abuse Services (BSAS) as a community in need of opiate prevention services. Opiates include: OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin, Methadone, and Heroin. In response, Healthy Gloucester, funded through a three year MassCALL2 grant, is working hard to better understand the opiate overdose problem and implement strategies to prevent fatal and non-fatal opiate overdoses. The Gloucester Overdose Prevention Project is currently doing the following:
  1. Providing access to general education and community awareness about opiates and ways to reduce overdose;
  2. Working closely with the police and other first responders to support the distribution of opiate overdose prevention information;
  3. Development and distribution of materials on how to recognize and respond to an overdose using reversal strategies such as rescue breathing and Narcan until an emergency responder arrives; and
  4. Working to address barriers to reduce people’s fears of calling 911 in the event of an overdose.

Learn to Cope

Learn to Cope is a support group for parents and caregivers struggling with a family member who is addicted to opiates such as Heroin, Oxycontin, and other drugs. This group meets every Tuesday evening from 7-9 PM at Addison Gilbert Hospital. Room location will be posted at hospital entrance. For more information, contact 508.801.3247 or

Underage Drinking Prevention Steering Committee

In response to alarming youth health data compiled in 2008, the Underage Steering Committee developed a strategic plan to heighten visible enforcement, increase community awareness, and shift youth norms to “healthy life choices.” In Spring 2010 many local alcohol retail and serving establishments participated in a voluntary training designed to reduce access to minors and send a strong message in the prevention of underage drinking. Recently, the youth developed a public service announcement and a community awareness sticker campaign highlighting “Your Future, Your Choices, You’re In Charge” to reinforce healthy life choices. Currently, we are gearing up for a Fall 2010,  “Adult Survey on Attitudes on Underage Alcohol and Other Drug Use” to be launched. Contact the Healthy Gloucester Office at 866.964.4603 for workshops.  Trainings are also available in DVD format. All workshops and trainings are free for the Gloucester community.

Physician & Addiction Treatment Provider Roundtable

The Provider Roundtable is unique in Massachusetts and offers a network of communication and education for healthcare providers, pharmacists, and representatives from law enforcement and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The group continues to work closely with the MA Department of Public Health to develop and launch the new electronic, statewide “MA Prescription Monitoring System”. The network provides an opportunity for professionals to:
  1. Enhance quality of care for patients;
  2. Improve referral services for those addicted or dependent on prescription drugs and/or alcohol; and
  3. Achieve greater monitoring of prescription drugs and lessen diversion.
The  Physician & Addiction Treatment Provider Roundtable meets quarterly from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at Addison Gilbert Hospital, Washington Street, Gloucester. Physicians and pharmacists are welcome. Please contact Joan Whitney at 866.964.4602 or to RSVP attendance at the upcoming meeting.
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