29
May
2018
Westborough
The Price Center
27 Christina Street
Newton, MA  02461
United States
The Multi-District Rotary Addiction Prevention Task Force has had two recent meetings. It is clear that Rotarians in Massachusetts, New England and around the world are aware of the addiction crisis facing our nation, and they want to help.

To recap, there are 4 segments of addiction assistance: Prevention, Education/Awareness, Treatment and Recovery. While Rotary clubs can play a part in all 4 phases, the task force has decided to focus most of its work on prevention and education initiatives. There is plenty of opportunity to provide funding for treatment and recovery facilities, and that is highly encouraged. But we can provide greater service by focusing “upstream” to help prevent people from becoming addicted in the first place.
 
Heidi Heilman, is a Rotarian from the Rotary Club of Weston-Wayland, head of the Massachusetts Addiction Prevention Alliance, and co-founder of Edventi, which created the educational program at the center of this program. She is also part of the Rotary Action Group that is working with global partners through Rotary on the issue of addiction prevention. Heidi has described a deeply troubling public health crisis. Addiction claims over 30,000 American lives each year and is growing rapidly. This disease does not discriminate. It touches every race, age and social-economic class. Rotarians can be the army that turns back this disease, as we have done with polio. Our first step will be to facilitate a slate of Rotary Addiction Prevention Seminars (RAPS).
 
The RAPS program is a 2-hour community forum utilizing the World Cafe Model with an Edventi media kit - 5 short film segments: tobacco, marijuana, brain science of addiction, alcohol and opioids, in that order. Each film is 11-13 minutes in duration. Program facilitators lead the discussion between videos following the World Cafe Model. The program is being developed for easy replication and scalability.
 
Here's where you come in: the program will be pre-piloted in Newton on Tuesday, May 29, from 6PM to 8PM at The Price Center, 27 Christina Street, Newton MA. Volunteers are needed to be trained as program coordinators. 
 
Please come to this pre-pilot event and learn about the program. The goal is to train as many Rotarians as possible, here and across the country, to replicate this program in their communities.
 
After the pre-pilot event in Newton, it will be rolled out to other pilot communities in MA, RI and NH. Partnerships are growing with organizations from various sectors including support groups that assist with the loss of a loved one, incarceration (Massachusetts Dept of Corrections & Executive Office of Public Safety), public health departments and hospitals. A Global Grant is in the works to provide this educational program to 15 pilot communities in New England.
 
If you would like to serve on the Rotary Addiction Prevention Task Force, please join our next planning meeting on May 8th at the Price Center from 6-7:30pm. More assistance would be welcome and appreciated. Please contact Paul Sullivan with any questions.
 
Paul Sullivan
Rotary Club of Newton
781-898-5151