Suffolk County Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins recently visited the Mobilizing for Change Coalition in Chelsea to speak about addiction recovery services and programming offered by the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department.
Along with members of the Coalition, which included Chelsea City Councilor Leo Robinson, officers from the Chelsea Police Department, representatives of Mass General Hospital (MGH) and Chelsea ASAP (Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program), Sheriff Tompkins participated in the meeting, highlighting the need for services directed toward drug and alcohol abuse prevention, awareness and treatment.
“We’re in the second chance business,” began Sheriff Tompkins, “and we have the opportunity to help a lot of people and the opportunity to help keep families intact. We have a lot of programming at our facilities, but we can’t do it all by ourselves, we need your help. What we talk to the families about is – if you have loved ones or friends with us – encourage them to take our programs. When they get out, continue to work with them and work with us. We’re trying to institute an aftercare program, because, as we have found, in the absence of housing, health care and employment people are very likely to recidivate.”
Other items addressed at the meeting included a community crime update from Chelsea Police; a presentation by MGH; an update about the Coalition’s social media outreach efforts; and a video featuring the drug awareness campaign “64% YOUth Decide,” which illuminates the fact that, contrary to common misconception about high school teens, the majority of Chelsea High School students are not using Marijuana.
Structured as a partnership of public and private sector organizations and individual community members, the Coalition’s mission is to reduce underage drinking, opiate and other substance abuse by utilizing best practice prevention models that change community norms, reduce access to drugs and alcohol, promote consistent law enforcement, support changes in local and state laws, engage the media, and inform and invite the community to participate in Coalition activities.
To learn more about the Mobilizing for Change Coalition, visit: www.facebook.com/MobilizingFORchange