How is Plymouth preventing substance use?

Substance Use and Teens

Plymouth Public Schools surveyed 2,801 students from four schools to learn about their views and usage on various substances, including marijuana, prescription drugs, and underage drinking.  The results from the surveys are compiled and shown in the following stories, linked below.  

Plymouth Youth Development Collaborative

In Plymouth, MA the Plymouth Youth Development Collaborative (PYDC) aims to strategically prevent and reduce substance use, to increase the protective factors that support a healthy community, and to enhance community collaboration in Plymouth. In order to reach this goal, PYDC consists of community stakeholders from a variety of sectors including: the school district, law enforcement, youth serving organizations, volunteer organizations, faith-based organizations, state/local government, substance use organizations, media, businesses, parents/community members, and youth. With the help of these stakeholders as well as state and federal grant funding, the coalition is able to enact change through evidence based strategies and initiatives to increase awareness, provide information, and ultimately change behavior. 

Board of Health meeting

Drug Story Theater

Engaging the Youths

Middle school aged youth were encouraged to advocate for change around a local problem in their community. These motivated youth attended a local Board of Health meeting to advocate for change around e-cigarette/vaping policies in Plymouth, MA.

PYDC has organized a variety of guest speakers and presentations for youth to educate as well as provide a safe space for questions and conversation around the topic of substance use, mental health, and healthy coping skills. One of these opportunities included a theatrical performance entitled “Drug Story Theater”. 

Community Engagement

Twice a year PYDC participates in the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day organized by the DEA. PYDC hosts a local event to encourage individuals to return unused/unwanted prescription medications in order to prevent misuse and help prevent environmental concerns around improper disposal.

PYDC often sets up a resource table at local community events in order to increases awareness around substance use disorders. In addition to increasing awareness and education, many volunteers have become connected with PYDC through these conversations.

PYDC has conducted two PhotoVoice projects in the town to increase the amount of substance use prevention education young people are receiving. This project allows youth to express their thoughts and feelings on the topic of addiction, including mental health concerns and coping skills, through photography. The final project is printed and used to increase community conversation on the topic.

PYDC's Steering Committee meets on a monthly basis to discuss upcoming prevention initiatives in the community of Plymouth. This meeting encourages community collaboration and often allows individuals to create connections within the town.

PhotoVoice Project

PhotoVoice Youth Table

PYDC Meeting