Prevention in Massachusetts


The Prevention Unit at the Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Substance Abuse Services works to prevent and reduce substance use disorders and related issues by providing leadership and financial support to communities throughout the Commonwealth. In addition, we provide support, training, and educational materials for substance abuse prevention to communities and residents across the state.


The Prevention Unit, housed within the Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Substance Abuse Services, funds substance misuse and abuse prevention programs that utilize evidence-based environmental strategies that can be sustained through local policy, practice, and systems changes to reduce substance misuse and abuse and increase both the number and the capacity of communities across the Commonwealth to address these issues.

Each prevention program focuses on one or more substance misuse and abuse issues as outlined by their grant program, and implements data-informed strategies and interventions based on a comprehensive statewide and local assessment process.

These programs are comprised of diverse groups of community members and stakeholders, each led by a local municipality in collaboration with local coalitions and/or prevention programs and in formal partnership with other neighboring cities and towns.

The goals and strategies of these programs include:

  • Preventing substance use disorders, with a particular focus on the under 21 population.
  • Utilizing evidence-based environmental strategies shown to produce positive changes in rates of substance misuse and abuse.
  • Sustaining prevention efforts through local policy, practice, and systems changes.
  • Engaging youth and community members; incorporating meaningful youth and community involvement in program planning, implementation, and evaluation, and focusing on positive outcomes for youth and communities.
  • Utilizing environmental substance misuse and abuse prevention approaches which seek to change the overall context within which substance abuse occurs. Environmental prevention efforts focus on availability, norms, and regulations.
  • Monitoring and evaluating the performance of their substance misuse and abuse prevention efforts.


Massachusetts Health Promotion Clearinghouse

The Massachusetts Clearinghouse provides free substance abuse prevention and health promotion materials for Massachusetts residents, health care providers, and social service providers



The Massachusetts Technical Assistance Partnership for Prevention (MassTAPP) supports programs across the Commonwealth in implementing substance abuse prevention work. MassTAPP’s expert staff offers technical assistance, capacity building, and other resources primarily to Bureau of Substance Abuse Services (BSAS) funded programs and offers support to non-funded programs as needed


Massachusetts SUBSTANCE ABUSE INFORMATION AND EDUCATION HELPLINE | (800) 327-5050 | TTY: (888) 448-8321

The Helpline is a Massachusetts resource providing free and anonymous information and referral for alcohol and other drug abuse problems and related concerns. The Helpline is committed to linking consumers with comprehensive, accurate, and current information about treatment and prevention services throughout Massachusetts. 

Services are available from:

Monday through Friday from 8:00am-10:00pm / Saturday and Sunday from 9:00am-5:00pm

Language interpreters are always available - Helpline services are anonymous and free.



Massachusetts Opioid Abuse Prevention Collaborative (MOAPC) Grant

Lead Municipalities (Funded): 18

Cluster Communities (Formal Partnership): 93

Total Programs: 111


Substance Abuse Prevention Collaborative GRANT (SAPC) Grant

Lead Municipalities (Funded): 28

Cluster Communities (Formal Partnership): 110

Total: 138


SAMHSA- partnerships for success 2015 (pfs 2015) grant

Lead Municipalities (Funded): 16

Cluster Communities (Formal Partnership): N/A

Total Programs: 16