The Brookline Coalition Against Substance Abuse (B-CASA) was founded in 2003 by a collaboration of community leaders working on substance abuse prevention in the town of Brookline, Massachusetts, an urban community with a population of 60,000. The Coalition includes:
This diverse group is united in its efforts to prevent teen alcohol, marijuana and other drug abuse, and the risky behavior that goes with it. The Coalition aims to devise and implement research-based prevention strategies that address the underlying issues and risk factors contributing to teen substance abuse in Brookline.
- Peer Leaders from Brookline High School
- Substance abuse treatment providers
- Youth-serving professionals from school, police, court, juvenile rehabilitation services and other community organizations.
- To reduce the incidence of alcohol and marijuana among Brookline youth
- To mobilize multiple sectors of the community, representating the diversity of Brookline, in the prevention of teen substance abuse.
- Train and mobilize a diverse group of youth as leaders in teen substance abuse prevention
- Employ multiple environmental strategies to address the underlying factors contributing to underage alcohol use
- Outreach to engage a broad and more diverse representation of the community in prevention efforts
- Change the current community norms and beliefs among youth that contribute to teen alcohol and marijuana use, and increase support for an alcohol- and drug-free social culture for youth
- Through B-PEN, a new parent outreach and education initiative, engage and educate Brookline parents on ways to successively navigate the complex social and emotional issues currently affecting teens that contribute to substance abuse and associated high risk behaviors. Improve parent communication skills, and mobilize parents to take an active role in providing a clear “no-use” message to teens.
Funding B-CASA was funded with a competitive five year federal $625,000 grant from Drug Free Communities, administered by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), in recognition and support of ongoing programming to prevent teen substance abuse. The grant was awarded to the Brookline Public Health Department in conjunction with the Brookline Schools, and supported new and ongoing projects initiated by the BHS Peer Leadership Program and the Parent Network Program. ONDCP director John Walters said, "Our young people are healthier, our communities are safer, and our Nation is stronger because of the work of Drug Free Community coalitions, and we are proud to support their efforts."