Program on Addiction and Teen Brain Development Slated for March 17

WARE — Ware public schools, the Quaboag Hills Community Coalition’s Substance Use Task Force, and Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan are teaming up to provide a free, lively community-education program focused on the latest information about the physiology of addiction and teen brain development and how such development  affects teens’ risk-taking and decision making.

The program will be held on Thursday, March 17 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Ware Junior/Senior High School auditorium. Ware Deputy Fire Chief Ed Wloch will conduct a free training in nasal Narcan, the drug used to reverse an opioid overdose; free Narcan kits will be made available. Dr. Ruth Potee — an expert on issues of addiction and the role that adolescent brain development plays in teenage risk-taking, including alcohol and drug use — will also speak.

The program will also include representatives from local services, providing information on community resources. Parents of teens, community members, and anyone who lives, works, or spends significant time with middle- and high school-aged youth are urged to attend.

“Parents face many challenges raising teenagers to be safe and healthy. How teenagers think and behave and how they make decisions about risks can be confusing and worrisome,” said Marlene DiLeo, Ware schools superintendent. “We hope to provide parents with new insights into research about how the developing teen brain functions and matures. We want to assist parents in their efforts to better understand teens and apply this knowledge to their daily interactions with their children to keep them safe and healthy.”

For more information, contact DiLeo at (413) 967-4271 or or Gail Gramarossa, task force facilitator, at (413) 588-5582 or