Allston-Brighton Substance Abuse Task Force

Status: Past Project
Year: 2004
Location: Boston
Client: Nonprofits
Services Provided: Assessment and Planning, Policy & Health Systems Improvement, Multi-Sector Convening, Training and Technical Assistance, Leadership Coaching, Research & Evaluation, Strategic Planning and Organizational Effectiveness, Communications and Social Marketing
Technical Expertise: Tobacco Prevention & Control, Substance Use

The Allston-Brighton Substance Abuse Task Force has been a community coalition devoted to substance abuse prevention since 2003. HRiA started working closely with the coalition in 2004, training the members in prevention research on substance use/misuse (e.g., environmental strategies, risk/protective factors) and providing technical assistance in creating community assessment tools, providing educational resources for target populations, and meeting with community leaders to foster enhanced collaboration. In the years since then, we have provided training and assistance in:

  • development and administration of quantitative and qualitative assessment processes and tools surveys, focus groups
  • partner recruitment and retention
  • infrastructure development (e.g., steering committee, sub-committees)
  • creation of media and social norms campaigns
  • youth development and youth leadership training
  • cultural competency and inclusion of diverse populations in coalition initiatives
  • logic model creation, strategic planning and implementation of identified strategies
  • development and implementation of a sustainability plan

The coalition leaders received coaching at coalition meetings and tailored facilitation for longer planning retreats. The coalition’s mission continues to be the prevention of alcohol and other drug use in their neighborhoods, though the actual drugs on which they have focused have shifted over time, depending on current assessment data. HRiA has assisted with the collection and analysis of data, and has supported the members in determining which strategies would be most effective to address each substance. With strategic outreach support, the coalition engaged multiple colleges in the region and large areas of student housing within the Boston neighborhoods of Allston and Brighton, the coalition has built strong partnerships with representatives of the colleges and collaborated on substance abuse prevention activities. Other strong partnerships have been built with the police, local community organizations, public schools, and the local hospital. The group has also expanded their work to support substance abuse recovery programs.