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Substance Use Prevention 

What Is This All About?


Growing up and finding one’s place in the world has never been easy. Guiding our children to adulthood and keeping them safe has always been difficult, especially during the teen years. But nowadays these challenges are much harder. We have been isolated by the pandemic. We are facing more strife and uncertainty in the world and the expanded media magnifies their impact and keeps it in our faces 24/7. Social media has also changed the way we relate to each other. The result of all these new challenges at once is unprecedented stress for children and families.

So it is not surprising that our youth are experiencing an alarming rise in serious mental health issues. With that we are seeing more substance use, overdoses, and even tragic deaths, especially with the increased prevalence of deadly fentanyl. Traditional means to address these problems are overwhelmed.

We need to do more to support our youth, parents and caretakers during these challenging times and our program provides a chance to come together as a caring community to help keep our kids safe and healthy. Prevention may be our most powerful tool.

What Can We Do?


Ipswich Aware has put together a program to help parents and caretakers to communicate more effectively with their children to help them through the challenges and avoid the pitfalls that they face as they grow up.


We have turned to a proven effective program produced by the national Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration called “Talk.They Hear You” which provides tips, programs, and support in numerous ways to guide parents about effective communication approaches (https://www.samhsa.gov/talk-they-hear-you). Information from that program will be disseminated through the Ipswich schools, Board of Health, library, ICAM, YMCA, and churches as well as online from the link above, via the program app, and also through their podcast.


At the same time, we are working with our coalition partners and our youth to provide a year-round slate of positive activities in our town to help keep kids productively engaged. 

Ipswichaware.org/youth activities. (coming soon)


For those parents and caretakers who want to learn more about ways to support our youth and keep them out of harm’s way, we shall be conducting programs in town throughout the year on related topics. We also have a listing of other articles and literature on this website to provide even more specific advice (see below).


Resources and Advice for Parents and Caretakers