Scituate FACTS Book Club Meeting
Marijuana The Truth About America’s Favorite Weed, by Dr. Kevin Hill
Tuesday, March 12, 2019
Scituate Town Library, 85 Branch Street,
Scituate MA


Reserve your spot here:


The Scituate FACTS Coalition is pleased to announce the latest coalition book club read. Community members are invited to read Marijuana The Truth About America’s Favorite Weed, by Dr. Kevin Hill, and then join together for a discussion at the Scituate Town Library.
Be a part of Scituate’s ongoing conversation about this important issue. Amy Heffernan, Gates Middle School Wellness Teacher, and Steve Howley, School Psychologist at SHS, will facilitate the discussion.
Author Kevin P. Hill, M.D., M.H.S, is Director of Addiction Psychiatry at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical, and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He combines clinical experience treating adolescents and young adults with marijuana and opioid use disorders, with an extensive research background. Dr. Hill has presented at Scituate High School and at the FACTS Power of Prevention in 2017 and 2018. (Find video and presentation slides under Power of Prevention section on this website.)

As one review of this book states: “The risks of marijuana use are widely debated and disagreed about–from questions of addiction and withdrawal, to effectiveness in treating various medical problems, to degrees of harmfulness and lasting deleterious changes….What has been missing is a balanced approach to all of these issues–an approach present in this volume by Dr. Kevin P. Hill. The book covers a wide range of topics in a thoughtful and comprehensive manner. Both pro- and anti-marijuana individuals will find material that agrees with their positions–and challenges them….It can be usefully read and consulted by health professionals, policy makers, law enforcement, parents, teachers, and students.”–Herbert D. Kleber, MD, Director, Division on Substance Abuse, New York State Psychiatric Institute

Suggestions for discussion topics may be directed to Amy Heffernan:

Book are available through Scituate Library and OCLN.
Additional copies also available through Scituate FACTS.
Please contact Annmarie Galvin,,  to arrange to pick up a loaner copy.
Print flyer –


This reference was compiled by the Scituate Public Schools Counseling Department and may be incomplete.


Don’t miss the opportunity to learn from the experts – right in your backyard!


Sunday, November 18, 2018, 1-4pm
Gates Middle School

460 First Parish Road, Scituate
Free! Register now on Eventbrite

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Keynote Presentation at 1:00pm in the Dining Commons:
“The Latest Science on the Teen Brain and Substance Use”
 Dr. Sion Kim Harris
One of the most significant risk factors for developing a substance use problem – and lifetime addiction – is the age of first use. Indeed, 90% of all substance use disorders onset during the ages of 12-20. Thanks to advances in neuroscience and brain imaging, we know much more about why this is true. Participants will learn how the use of common substances like nicotine, alcohol, and marijuana during this critical period in brain development can have an impact on health and wellbeing.


Dr. Sion Kim Harris is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and faculty in the Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine and Developmental Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital. She is the Director of the Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research ( at Boston Children’s, an internationally-renowned research center which strives to be a leading source of innovative, effective strategies in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of substance-related problems.  For  the past 7 years, Dr. Harris has shared neuroscience with Scituate students as part of our pre-prom program. We are excited to share this compelling message with adults in the community!
The Latest Science on the Teen Brain and Substance Use will kick off our event at 1:00pm in the Dining Commons.








Breakout Workshops – Choose Two:





Anxiety, Stress, and Substance Use Risk
Co-facilitators: Jen Lopes, LICSW, and Steve Howley, MS, CAGS
Offered during Session One and Two

We know that individuals with behavioral health problems in childhood are at increased risk of developing a Substance Use Disorder as adults. Ongoing student survey data shows a strong correlation exists between the rates of binge drinking, and marijuana use among Scituate High School students who also report poor mental health (especially among boys). We also know that early warning signs of behavioral health difficulties can be identified as early as preschool, and supported.  Learn practical strategies to identify concerns and help your child better manage stress and anxiety.  Schools and families can work together to mitigate the risks of managing stress and common mental and behavioral health challenges to prevent serious health problems later in life.


Risk Factors: Underlying Behavioral Health Conditions (such as Anxiety, Depression, ADHD,

Learning Disabilities)

Protective Factors: School Connectedness

About the facilitators: Steve Howley is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist.  He has been working for the Scituate Public Schools as a school psychologist since 2009.  In addition to his work in Scituate, Steve has worked in a variety of counseling and assessment centers. He has worked for many years providing outpatient therapy to individuals and families with a variety of diagnoses and substance use challenges.  His primary area of expertise is adolescent behavioral health, though he has worked with individuals ranging from preschool to adulthood.  Steve is currently completing his doctoral degree at William James College. Jen Lopes is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and has worked as the Scituate High School Adjustment Counselor since 2011.  Prior to SHS, in her capacity as a hospice social worker, she assisted families who were anticipating the death of a family member.  Additionally she has worked with children, adolescents and families who were impacted by domestic violence, in an inpatient psychiatric facility, outpatient mental health, and with the Department of Social Services.







Facilitator: Kevin P. Hill, M.D., M.H.S
Note: This presentation will only be offered during Session One (2:00-3:00).

Marijuana – scientifically known as cannabis – is a hot topic, often surrounded in both emotion and misinformation. Why is this substance so controversial? Learn the facts from a true expert in the field. Dr. Hill will share his clinical experience treating adolescents and young adults with cannabis and opioid use disorders, along with a depth of research knowledge. Participants will learn about policy, trends in use, implications on youth health, and what to do if a loved one has a problem with cannabis use. Participants who wish to continue the discussion after the summit may sign up for a FACTS Book Club read of Dr. Hill’s book. A limited number of books will be available to borrow at the event.

Risk Factors: Early substance use; Availability; Low perception of risk

Protective Factors: Clear family rules & expectations


About the facilitator: Kevin P. Hill, M.D., M.H.S, is Director of Addiction Psychiatry at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and author of Marijuana: The Unbiased Truth About America’s Favorite Weed. His clinical experience treating adolescents and young adults with marijuana and opioid use disorders, with an extensive research background, combine for a powerful and expert understanding of the topic.






Parenting Your Teen: Navigating Real-Life Situations

Facilitator: Steve Maguire, M.Ed.
Offered during Session One and Two

This highly interactive workshop is geared to parents and caregivers of 7-12th grade students.


Should my kids sleep over other people’s houses? What do I do if my kids go to a house where young people are drinking and the parents know about it? How do I talk to other parents about role modeling positive behavior? Can teenagers say no and still have friends? We will explore these and other important parenting questions that can help everybody in the community get better at our most important job!


Format for this workshop will include an overview of the positive parenting principles of Rules, Monitoring, and Consequences. Parents and caregivers will then work in small groups to apply this framework to real-life situations, based on their children’s developmental stage. Participants will benefit from hearing from other parents who have been through this recently, or are navigating these waters currently, as they develop strategies for their own family. This workshop will not be recorded.


Protective Factors: Strong family bond; Skills, opportunities and recognition; Clear family expectations and consequences


About the facilitator: Steve Maguire, M.Ed., is a Scituate High School science teacher. He combines his classroom and coaching experience with wit and emotion to engage and empower adults who are raising children. Through his own speaking business, called Go Turnstone, Steve has facilitated trainings and consultations at over 750 organizations in the last 15 years. He is an award winning educator, best-selling author, professional speaker, and father of four.




Facilitator: Traci Wojciechowski

Offered during Session One and Two

Last year 40% of Scituate High School students reported vaping in the past 30 days, according to the anonymous school survey. Vapes contain flavored nicotine, marijuana, or other chemicals, all of which are harmful. Examples of different e-cigarette devices (including JUULs, Kandy Pens and more) will be available for adults to explore. Learn more about this concerning trend among young people – the laws, health risks (both known and unknown), local strategies, and tips for parents to intervene early.

Risk Factors: Early substance use; Low perception of risk; Availability; Peers who use
Protective Factors: Clear family expectations and consequences


About the facilitator: Traci Wojciechowski is Caron Treatment Centers’ Regional Director of Education. Traci has been with Caron since 2002 and is responsible for ensuring that quality education, prevention and early intervention services are provided to school systems and youth-serving agencies throughout New England. Her areas of expertise include adolescent substance use trends, support group and prevention program facilitation, curriculum development, as well as the delivery of parent and professional trainings.  She is also the developer of Caron’s adolescent nicotine cessation program, Project CONNECT® and has written articles, presented at regional and national conferences and provided numerous trainings for school staff and professionals on the topic of substance use prevention.



What else do I need to know?

  • Free childcare available for children ages 3 and up through Scituate Recreation. Please register online.
  • Gates School opens at 12:30. Please arrive early to explore a hands-on exhibit, Weeding through the Myths, provided by South Shore Health Systems.
  • Swag bags full of prevention and support resources will be provided to attendees upon arrival.
  • Light snacks and refreshments available.
  • Traditional conference format, content is intended for an adult/caregiver audience.
  • An optional suggested donation of $10 will be gratefully accepted at the door.

Workshop space is limited, so please register as soon as possible. All communities are welcome.


Families rave about this class!

Scituate FACTS is proud to partner with Scituate Public Schools to offer this award-winning, science-based Substance Use Prevention Workshop for parents and caregivers of children ages 9-15. Guiding Good Choices participants will get the latest data on local youth substance use, learn about the risk factors for addiction and, finally, acquire skills to build protection in their own families. Scituate families rave about this class! Parents and caregivers must attend all four classes the series. Please plan to bring your child or children ages 9-15 to Session Three (only) for refusal skills practice and pizza!

Space is limited to small groups of 20.

Open to Scituate residents and community members only due to space restraints.

$12.00 fee for the Family Guide may be paid at the first class (cash or check made payable to Town of Scituate). Scholarships available by simply emailing:



Now enrolling! School-based Supports for Students Impacted by Substance Use

It is estimated that at least as 1 in 8 children live in a family impacted by substance use disorder. The Scituate Public Schools Counseling Department offers a variety of supports for our students to connect with others in a safe and accessible setting, and to learn healthy coping strategies. Please contact the School Counselors indicated below for more information,  start dates, and permission slips.

School-based Support Group for Families:
“Loved Ones Raising Loved Ones” Some children in Scituate are being raised by grandparents or family members other than their biological Mom and Dad. These adults and children have unique issues that arise. This school-based support group is designed to address the issues that are common for family members raising other family member’s children and for children being raised by loved ones other than their parents – no matter what the reason.  Each month, members meet as a large group for a fun pizza dinner.
Then, the adults and children meet separately with School Counselors (including Paulette Marino, Jen Lopes, Nina Riley, and retired counselor Linda Nathan). Children talk and work in their journals, as well as complete a craft or gym activity designed for the range of ages. This year, the pizza and crafts have been provided from donations by BeWell Studios to the Scituate FACTS Coalition.  The Loved Ones group meets during the school year, usually on the last Monday of the month, from 6:00-7:30pm, at Jenkins Elementary School. Children of all ages from all schools participate, including pre-school aged siblings. The group is also open to family situations that are not substance-related. The first meeting will be Monday, October 29, 2018. Future dates to be announced for November, January, February, March, April and May.

Please email Nina Riley at if you are interested in learning more about Loved Ones Raising Loves Ones, which is open to all SPS families.

School-based Support Groups for Students: 
“Kids of Promise” is a group for students in grades 6 – 12 who have been impacted by a friend or loved one’s substance use.
Scituate Public Schools is pleased to offer Kids of Promise, an in-school support group offered at both Gates and SHS. It is voluntary for students (who are responsible for any missed classwork). During the 8-week course, students will meet with the group once a week. The curriculum focus will be: positive self-esteem building, healthy communication skills, relationship building (parents, siblings, peers, etc.), healthy coping skills and decision making, alcohol and drug use prevention, and helping students identify feelings associated with loved ones who may be suffering from substance use disorder. Gates group will start mid-October. Parent/guardian permission is required to participate.



“Insight” is a group for students in grades 9 – 12 who would benefit from positive decision-making skills. This is a psycho-educational support group for high school students to explore adolescent challenges pertaining to difficult decision-making, self-esteem, stress management, resiliency and goal-setting.  This group will be offered during the school day, once a week for approximately eight weeks.  Students may miss some academic classes in order to participate in this group (times to be determined).  They will be responsible for obtaining and completing any missed school work. This group is a positive addition to a student’s school day, and
past participants have enjoyed the group dynamic. Parent/guardian permission is required to participate.


New! “Project Connect” is a group for students in grades 9 – 12* who use nicotine. This is a psycho-educational support group for high school students that will include open discussion, demonstrations, role-plays, short lecture, audiovisual, and hands-on skill-building activities. Topics include resiliency, social skills, stress management, goal-setting, and decision-making.  Students will develop their own personalized plans for success to slow down or stop their use of vapes or cigarettes. The Project Connect group will be offered during the school day, once a week for 7 weeks.  Students may miss some academic classes in order to participate in this group (times to be determined).  Students will be responsible for obtaining and completing any missed school work. This group is designed to empower adolescents with the tools necessary to make more positive choices. Parent/guardian permission is required to participate. (*Gates is exploring the possiblity of a middle school offering, please contact Ms. Newton or Mr. Beattie for more information.)


For Scituate High School Groups:
Jen Lopes, School Adjustment Counselor:  781 545-8750 x102

For Gates Middle School Groups:
Lindsay Newton, School Adjustment Counselor: 781-545-8760 x21109


Financial support from the Scituate FACTS Coalition and community donations have made these support opportunities possible.
If you have any questions about support for students, please contact the Counseling Department at your school.  All school counselors can provide information on additional, community-based resources, including the Gosnold Family Education & Support Group every Sunday at 11:00am at the Scituate Council on Aging; Sunday night AlaTeen Meeting at Glastonbury Abbey in Hingham; and Independence Academy Recovery High School in Brockton.







Printable reference of the state and local laws regarding youth and substances.



Cannabis policy is ahead of the cannabis science. We need more research to understand the benefits and the harms. Click link for review of all the research (about 50% of all studies suggest some helpful use).