Youth Substance Use Prevention


The Northampton Prevention Coalition has a new, dedicated website!  Check us out at: Northampton Prevents

You can also follow us on Twitter at: NPCprevents, and on Facebook


The Northampton Prevention Coalition, with the Northampton Public Schools as the fiscal agent, is funded by SAMSHA Drug Free Communities (DFC) and Sober Truth on Underage Drinking (STOPAct) grants.  This brings approximately $175,000 into the city to further the youth substance use prevention efforts we began with the help of our sister coalition, The Strategic Planning Initiative for Families and Youth (SPIFFY)  The SPIFFY website has great information on county-wide substance use prevention efforts.

To become involved in the coalition, or to learn more about our student risk and protective data and the work of the coalition, please contact the Coalition Coorndinator, Ananda Lennox at or the Coalition Program Director, Karen Jarvis-Vance at


The link below will bring you to an app available for Apple and Android users that helps you to rehearse these conversations…which can be tricky…using avatar technology.  Who knew practicing difficult conversations could be so fun?!  Check it out at:

Safe Homes – How You Can Help
The Northampton Safe Homes Program empowers parents and guardians to create a safe environment by setting clear expectations about drug and alcohol use for their teens and their teens’ friends who visit their homes. Join other Northampton families in the Safe Homes Program by taking the pledge to not serve or allow minors to consume alcohol or other drugs in your home, to actively supervise parties at your home, and to communicate with other parents/caregivers in an effort to create a safer community for Northampton youth.
To learn more and to sign up follow this link:

SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment) 

Because school nurses and counselors are uniquely positioned to influence substance use among young people, it is recommended that schools allow for opportunities for appropriately trained staff to screen for substance use, to provide counseling and to make referrals to treatment as necessary.  The adolescent Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) protocol focuses on early detection, risk assessment, brief counseling and referral intervention that can be utilized in the school setting.  This protocol will enable school nurses and counselors to detect substance use-related problems in adolescents before they start or to address them at an early stage.  The tool used to conduct screening in this setting, the CRAFFT, is empirically based and developed through primary research and is the most frequently used substance abuse screening tool in Massachusetts.  The CRAFFT is a series of six questions that can quickly screen adolescents for high-risk alcohol and/or drug use simultaneously, and can assess whether a longer conversation about use, frequency and related consequences is warranted.

Please call Lisa Safron, the Director of Health and Safety, for more information at (413) 587-1364, or email her at  Please refer to the documents below to view the CRAFFT screening tool (available in English and Spanish) and to read more information about SBIRT.


This resource from NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) helps adults to talk about substance use with the young people in their lives and provides helpful strategies in six categories: communication, encouragement, knowing your child’s friends, supervision, settings limits & negotiation.

Also helpful is this publication: 

Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction

Which can be found in English here:
And Spanish here:

Drug Take-Back Collection Program

Free, safe disposal. For more information, visit DEA website