South County Prevention Coalition

Charlestown • Hopkinton • Narragansett • New Shoreham • North Kingstown • Richmond • South Kingstown • Westerly


Regional Needs Assessment 

The problem of alcohol, marijuana, and other drug abuse and prescription medication misuse has garnered significant attention nationally and in RI as a result of the opioid epidemic. In the words of several of the people interviewed for the South County needs assessment, the opioid epidemic shows that no one is immune from substance abuse and the problems it causes for individuals, families, and communities.

While the opioid crisis is truly significant and important, the South County Prevention Coalition's Needs Assessment indicates that alcohol and marijuana use is significantly more widespread than opiates and their all too often lethal effect.

  • Stress amongst our youth and young adults is seemingly rampant and unaddressed.

  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a significant issue in South County. 

  • The mere talk of legalizing marijuana is changing norms amongst adults and youth.

  • There is a disconnect between parents and their children as it relates to communication around alcohol, marijuana, and other drug use.

  • There is a disconnect between needs and resources when it comes to accessing treatment services. 

Three Priorities 

  1. To increase evidence-based policies, practices and programs by municipal substance abuse prevention coalitions across the lifespan, as well as among  community stakeholders
  2. To implement environmental change strategies to raise awareness of potential for harm, and reduce youth access to harmful legal products
  3. To use media and communication strategies to promote positive behavioral health, increase the perception of risk or harm from substance use.  

Got Drugs?

Find out where to dispose of your unused and expired medications here

Count It. Lock It. Drop It!  Have you!?

Check out what our South Kingstown youth group RIPL are doing in school and the community. Youth engagement is VITAL to our work!



Messaging for Parents:  Parenting IS Prevention

Communicate the importance of healthy behaviors and establish clear and specific rules about not using marijuana and other drugs. This can be part of a broader conversation about expectations like:
• Doing chores                                              • Following parental rules
• Following laws and school regulations      • Bedtimes
• School and class attendance                    • Curfews
• Showing respect for family members
Provide consistent negative consequences for not meeting the guidelines. Remember to provide compliments for good choices and healthy behavior.

What to say:
“It is important to our family that we all stay healthy and safe. One way to do this is to avoid drug use, including marijuana. This is especially important for teenagers since marijuana can harm the developing brain. That’s why we have a family rule against using marijuana. If we find out you are using drugs, what do you think a fair consequence would be?”

Keep track of your child.
• Monitor your teen’s behavior to ensure the rules are being followed.
• Remain actively involved in your teen’s life and get to know his or her friends.
• Network with other parents so that you may support one another to keep your children away from drugs.

Keep lines of communication open.
• Eat dinner together.
• Do fun family activities together.
• Communicate the way your teen does (texting, email, Facebook, Twitter).

Support For Teens:  Alateen Meetings in Rhode Island
If addiction or alcoholism is affecting your family you are invited to an alateen meeting.

For Adults: Find an AA Meeting

Contact us

South County Regional Coalition

Heidi Driscoll

Our Community Coalitions

Block Island Wellness Coalition

Jill Seppa

South Kingstown Partnership for Prevention

Melissa Mowry and MK Whitten

Narragansett Prevention Partnership

Kelly Cartwright
Renae Martin

North Kingstown Prevention Coalition

Kathy Yeager

Chariho Task Force on Substance Abuse Prevention

Terri Censabella

Westerly Substance Abuse Prevention Task Force