In response to 110 opioid-related, hospitalizations and nine deaths from opiate overdoses (2003-2005) coupled with concerns about binge drinking; residents reinvigorated our town’s long held tradition of civic engagement by forming a collaborative. In 2006, local leaders created the Reading Coalition Against Substance Abuse (RCASA). Following a strategic planning process, the Town of Reading (Coalition fiscal agent) received a Drug Free Communities grant and hired staff. Since 2007, RCASA has gathered youth substance abuse data, trained youth and adult prevention advocates by forming our Board of Directors, Youth Crew, Student Club, and prevention workgroups. We have also educated students, parents, faculty, and other key stakeholders through programs that address youth substance use. Click here to learn more about our work.