BOSTON (WWLP)–Youth substance use prevention programs across the state will receive grant funding through a state health initiative. 

The Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) and the Department of Public Health (DPH) announced $3.8 million in annual grants to 31 programs. This is the third Massachusetts Collaborative for Action, Leadership, and Learning (MassCALL3) award under the Substance Misuse Prevention Grant Programs. The grants will be distributed over eight years, beginning in FY22 through FY29, to support local substance use prevention efforts.

The program outlines three goals: 

  • Community engagement and capacity building: To be deployed for communities with limited or no existing capacity and infrastructure to implement a systematic public health planning process and a comprehensive set of evidence-based prevention programs, policies, and practices to prevent youth substance misuse.
  • Comprehensive strategy implementation: Communities with existing prevention program capacity and experience will receive additional support to implement a comprehensive set of prevention services directed at youth and focused on substances of first use, such as alcohol, nicotine, and cannabis.
  • Innovation and promising practices implementation: Communities that have already implemented a detailed substance misuse plan or adapted an existing approach that has not been formally described in prevention literature will receive expert assistance in examining and disseminating new and emerging practices that have the potential to fill gaps in current prevention scientific evidence.

The program is funded through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (SAPT) block grant.

Below is a list of municipalities and organizations from western Massachusetts that will receive grants:

  • Berkshire Regional Planning Commission
  • City of Springfield
  • Collaborative for Educational Services (Amherst, Northampton, Easthampton, South Hadley, and Hadley)
  • Franklin Regional Council of Governments
  • Northern Berkshire Community Coalition
  • Railroad Street Youth Project (Great Barrington, Stockbridge, Egremont, and Sheffield)