State Awards $972,000 for Substance-use-disorder Programming at Three High Schools

BOSTON — The Executive Office of Health and Human Services and the Department of Public Health (DPH) announced $972,000 in grants for after-school enrichment programming for young people ages to 13 to 17 with substance-use disorder or who have been identified as being at risk for developing this disorder.

The program will serve students in high schools in Beverly, Boston, and Springfield, and include educational tutoring, recreational activities, year-round programs (including after-school and out-of-school), and intervention and recovery support programs.

“Research has shown that being in a school setting that promotes recovery provides students with an influential network that can lead to academic success and a reduction in substance use,” Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders said. “This award will expand after-school and outside-of-school supports, particularly in response to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Public Health Commissioner Dr. Monica Bharel added that “this award will provide meaningful, effective, and purpose-driven supports for adolescents with substance-use disorder.”

The grant award will be issued over the course of three years, with $54,000 distributed to each program in the first year, $216,000 in the second year, and $54,000 in the third year. The program is funded through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s State Opioid Response grant.

“This program will be a positive step towards increasing Massachusetts’ capacity for targeted after-school enrichment for youths affected by or at risk for substance-use disorder,” said Deirdre Calvert, director of DPH’s Bureau of Substance Addiction Services. “Providing youths meaningful understanding for their diverse paths to recovery, as well as effective support in times of need, will protect their continued recovery and integration with greater society.”