Supporting Hudson Toward Municipal and Organizational Policy and Systems Changes

Dates: 2014-2015

State: Massachusetts

Client(s): Town of Hudson

Service: Training & Technical Assistance

Technical Expertise: Adolescent Health, Substance Use, Community Health Coalitions, Population Health

There is a disturbing prevalence of substance use among Hudson's youth. In 2010, 19% of Hudson high school students reported recent binge drinking, and 24% reported being drunk recently. Almost half of Hudson high school students reported using marijuana in their lifetime. Compared to their counterparts in other MetroWest high schools, Hudson high school students are also 70% more likely to misuse prescription drugs.

This project, initiated by the Hudson Board of Health, is a comprehensive community-based program to address adolescent substance use. The project aims to increase parent and community awareness of steps to take to reduce adolescents’ substance abuse and to create an adequate environment that supports these steps. With more than 4,300 minors living in Hudson, this coordinated approach will affect the community as a whole.

JSI will coordinate the initiative as well as provide technical expertise. JSI will work to engage the entire community to implement a number of carefully coordinated strategies including establishing and facilitating a community-based substance use coalition, revising school curriculum, helping to improve the screening of students with moderate and high risk of substance use and referring them for treatment, developing after school support groups, expanding Red Ribbon Week, engaging parents, and making environmental modifications such as revising tobacco regulations.