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Substance abuse

Learn about January 11’s “If Only” documentary and panel discussion here!


What is the Charlestown Substance Abuse Coalition?

The CSAC works to increase access to and resources for successful treatment and recovery from  substance use disorders (SUDS). The Coalition also strengthens protective factors and decreases risk factors to prevent  substance use and misuse for youth, young adults and families, through education, prevention, and intervention strategies. The coalition has nearly 50 active members representing 12 community sectors.

In 2002, the rates of substance abuse-related hospitalizations and drug-related deaths among residents were 50% higher in Charlestown than in Boston overall. In 2004, the majority (70%) of Charlestown admissions to publicly-funded treatment facilities were for heroin and other opioids, compared to 50% for Boston. To address these challenges, a community coalition was formed to reduce substance misuse by utilizing existing community resources, organizing programs to respond to identified needs, and harnessing the community’s energy and commitment to create a safe, healthy environment in Charlestown.

CSAC’s efforts have contributed to the following outcomes:

EMS responses for heroin overdoses decreased 62% from 2003 to 2010.

Hospital discharges from opioid overdoses decreased by 44% between 2004 and 2009.

Between calendar years 2003 and 2008, Charlestown’s drug-related deaths decreased 78%.

To reach out on behalf of a loved one, or for more information, please contact Sarah Coughlin at 617-726-0059 or

What is the Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery?

MOAR was founded in 1991 to collectively meet with other addiction-oriented groups to build a coalition to support licensing of Alcohol and Drug Counselors. The organization is supported by the Mass. Dept. of Public Health, Bureau of Substance Abuse Services. MOAR works to address the following concerns:

Alcoholism and other drug abuse/dependencies affect over 406,000 people in the state.

Most families that receive Commonwealth services have one or more parents with alcohol or drug abuse problems. Many grandparents are “parenting” their grandchildren because of their child’s drug addiction.

Close to 30% of work absenteeism is related to substance abuse.

The general public hears and sees only the devastating effects of addiction but does not hear about the many positive effects of recovery. Participating in MOAR allows recovering persons, relatives, and friends to have an active voice about addiction recovery.

Call toll free at 877-423-6627 or email

Find an AA Meeting in Charlestown

Did you know that more than a dozen AA meetings can be found in Charlestown every week? For locations and schedules, visit and click on “Find an AA Meeting”. Information also available in Spanish and Portuguese. Call 617-426-9444 for info on meetings interpreted for the deaf.