Welcome to Franklin County Caring Communities

Welcome to your Caring Communities!

What’s happening in prevention? Check out the Iceland experience. Can we do this here?

Interested in cannabis research and policy recommendations? New information is available at under the category “alcohol and other drugs.”

Check out our National Take-Back Day video, made in collaboration with our Teen Institute and Northwest Access TV.


Visit our facebook page (@FranklinCountyCaringCommunities) or our calendar to see what else is going on in the coming weeks.

Looking for information on Watershed Mentoring? Visit our page.

If you are looking for information on effective policies that support prevention, please download our document, Addressing Youth and Young Adult Substance Abuse in Franklin County.

Is Vermont really ready for legalized marijuana? Check out this report on the impact of marijuana legalization and commercialization.

Parents, “Safe Homes Parent Network” is a way for you to connect, support one another, and keep kids safe and substance free across Franklin County.   We’re inviting parents to sign on to the following:Safe-Homes-Parent-Network-Color-Logo

  • I will actively supervise all gatherings of youth in our home or on our property, or ask another responsible adult for help to do so.
  • I will not allow the possession of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs by youth in our home or on our property.
  • I will set expectations for my children by knowing where they are going, whom they are with, what they are doing, and when they are to return home.

Are you interested in joining the Safe Home Parent Network? Click here for more information and to complete the survey.

Check out ParentUp for tips on recognizing substance use in teens, talking to your kids and teens about underage drinking and aamother drug use, and preparing them for safe, fun, substance free parties and events.

Looking to get more involved in County-wide prevention and positive youth development? Consider becoming a mentor or joining our board. We all benefit when our members take an active role in guiding our coalition’s prevention initiatives.  Contact Beth 527-5049 x 1 or beth@fcccp.org for more information.

Caring Communities is a proud supporter of Front Porch Forum, a web-based community network., which is now available to all towns in Vermont.   Check it out and join the conversation.

Join us in promoting a safe, healthy, caring, and substance-free Franklin County that values all its members.  And, if you’d like to support Caring Communities and Watershed Mentoring financially, you can now donate online! Please click on the button to the right to be taken to a secure donation website.

Thanks for your interest and remember, we are ALL Caring Communities.










Posted in Alcohol and Other Drugs, Mentoring, Our Programs and Initiatives, Policy and Environmental strategies | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Summary of Cannabis Use and Risk of Prescription Opioid Use Disorder in the United States – John Searles, Ph.D.

Summary of Cannabis Use and Risk of Prescription Opioid Use Disorder in the United States

Posted in Alcohol and Other Drugs, Media | Leave a comment

Darryl Rodgers brings a cautionary message to Franklin County youth

Parents, guardians, teens, and the treatment team of Franklin County’s adolescent drug court heard from parent and marijuana prevention activist Darryl Rodgers on October 18 as he described his own experience as a parent of a child using cannabis.
Darryl Rodgers and his wife Kim lost their 20-year- old son Chase in a car wreck when the driver with whom their son was riding lost control and crashed into a tree in his home state of North Carolina. A years-long struggle with cannabis use and addiction left Chase dead at the scene,his friend facing charges and ultimately taking her own life, and his family trying to grasp what had gone wrong.

Rodgers’ answer to this tragedy was to piece together Chase’s life in a short film, “Deadly Influences,” in which he chronicles Chase’s descent into substance use and school failure. Through home videos, interviews with friends and family, and news clips, Darryl tells the story of Chase’s short life and the impact of his substance use and death on a community. Through the telling of his son’s story and reaching out to students, parents, churches, and community
leaders, he has pursued his goal to help other young people make healthy choices.
The Juvenile Drug Treatment Court team seized the chance to have Darryl Rodgers address their participants. Franklin County Juvenile Treatment Court is an intervention program for youth who have at least one act of delinquency and want to change their lifestyles by being sober from all substances. The team is a collaboration between the Family Court Judge, State’s Attorney, Public Defender’s Office, Department of Children and Families (DCF) and Northwestern Counseling and Support Services (NCSS) treatment providers. Participants are expected to remain sober, to attend group and individual treatment sessions, and to be involved in their education and community. Participants who successfully graduate from the program have the benefit of living a sober lifestyle and having their legal record expunged.
Mr. Rodgers talked frankly about the impact of marijuana on his son’s life. He described the change in friends, loss of motivation in school, deterioration of respect, and noticeable weight loss that troubled him and his family and eventually led him to stage an intervention for his son.
He spoke with obvious emotion of the impact of Chase’s addiction and death on the family, Chase’s friends, and the family of the young woman who took her own life in the wake of Chase’s death. Drug Court team members Judge Mary Morrissey and Tricia Brett of DCF
commented afterward that Mr. Rodgers’ presentation resonated with the young people and their families.
The following week, speaking to about 400 students and staff at BFA Fairfax, Mr. Rodgers expressed concern that those promoting the legal sale of cannabis had their eyes on the money rather than on the well-being of teens and young adults. He drew a comparison with the tobacco industry, which spends billions of dollars to recruit teens as customers, and contrasted the high-potency cannabis of today with the marijuana that parents and grandparents smoked 30 plus years ago. He spoke about his son Chase, whose playful character, athletic talent, and ambition were lost to cannabis use, and who — on the verge of recovery — relapsed with fatal results.
Mr. Rodgers also spoke about the physical effects of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, on brain and nervous system development in children and teens. He addressed the difficulty in assessing impairment and assigning fault in driving offenses.
In a message of hope and resilience, Mr. Rodgers talked to the students about the superpowers that each of them possesses: the power of choice, the power of association, the power of love, and the power to intervene. Finally, he asked them to consider discontinuing friendships with people who were bringing them down. During lunch, students came by to chat with him and student assistance counselor Joanne Saunders about their own experiences and reactions. Then Mr. Rodgers was off to another presentation in Vergennes. Mr. Rodgers’ visit to Vermont was hosted and organized by Bob Orleck, former assistant attorney general and retired pharmacist. Orleck has been active in the effort to defeat legalization of non-medical cannabis commerce in Vermont and arranged visits at several schools and churches over the course of his time in Vermont.
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Cultural Competence

Cultural competence describes the ability of an individual or organization to interact effectively with people of different cultures. To produce positive change, prevention practitioners must understand the cultural context of their target community, and have the willingness and skills to work within this context. This means drawing on community-based values, traditions, and customs, and working with knowledgeable persons of and from the community to plan, implement, and evaluate prevention activities.

Key principles of cultural and linguistic competence must be integrated into all steps of  SAMHSA’s Strategic Prevention Framework(link is external) in order to have an impact that is inclusive and sustainable. These principles include, but are not limited to:

  • Each group has unique cultural needs. Coalitions should acknowledge that several paths lead to the same goal.
  • Significant diversity exists within cultures. It is important to recognize that cultural groups are complex and diverse, and not to be viewed as a single entity.
  • The dominant culture serves people from diverse backgrounds in varying degrees. Coalitions must recognize that what works well for the dominant cultural group may not be successful with members of other cultural groups.
  • Culture is ever-present, and must be acknowledged as a predominant force in shaping behaviors, values, and institutions.
  • Inclusion of multiple perspectives is critical to the full engagement of all segments of the population, which enriches and benefits not only the subgroups, but the community as a whole.
  • Cultural competence is not limited to ethnicity, but includes age, gender, disability, sexual identity and other variables.

Excerpted from SPF: Cultural Cumpetence and Sustainability(link is external) by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and Cultural Competence (link is external) by Health Resources in Action.

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Green Up Day May 6, 2017

Every year, Vermonters take to the highways and byways to clean up our roadsides of litter and roadside junk. If you’ve ever participated in Green Up Day, you might have noticed how many alcohol containers and tobacco trash are in the mix. In recent years, people have found syringes and other dangerous items. If you are participating in Green Up Day, please consider tallying the number of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug-related materials you collect! You can do so on the attached Green up day alcohol tally sheet. You can mail, scan and email, or fax these sheets  back to us.

This efforts helps us understand where drinking and driving is happening, as well as other risky behaviors. This information can help alert town officials and law enforcements to these concerns. Pictures are also welcome!

Participants who submit their forms by 5/12/17 will be entered in a drawing for a prize.

Thanks for supporting a safe, clean, and healthy environment.

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Swanton Enhancement Project’s (SEP) Task Force to Reduce Substance Abuse in partnership with Prevent Child Abuse Vermont will be hosting a Community Forum on May 4th at MVU, 6:00-8:00 pm. The event will include a showing of the movie Resilience and a follow up panel discussion.

The movie RESILIENCE: THE BIOLOGY OF STRESS AND THE SCIENCE OF HOPE, “chronicles the promising beginnings of a national movement to prevent childhood trauma, treat Toxic Stress, and greatly improve the health of future generations.” Its subject matter is relative to ACE’s, Adverse Childhood Experiences, a topic of great discussion around the nation.

“Childhood experiences, both positive and negative, have a tremendous impact on future violence victimization and perpetration, and lifelong health and opportunity. As such, early experiences are an important public health issue. Much of the foundational research in this area has been referred to as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). ACEs can be prevented. Learn more about preventing ACEs in your community.” (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)

SEP’s Task Force to Reduce Substance Abuse strives to make Swanton a hub of information for awareness, prevention and treatment of substance abuse. PLEASE participate in this great event…another step toward a positive future.

If you have questions, please contact Kathy.Lavoie2@myfairpoint.net or 802-782-1924.

Posted in Alcohol and Other Drugs, Get Involved, Parents, Policy and Environmental strategies, Positive youth development, Prevention programs and strategies, Training opportunities | Tagged , , | Leave a comment