Newton PATH: Prevention, Awareness, Treatment & Hope

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Newton PATH's Approach

Mayor Ruthanne Fuller and the City of Newton have established a multi-disciplinary working group designated for public health and public safety officials committed to confronting the opioid crisis and substance use disorder. Newton PATH is made up of members of Health and Human Services, Police, Fire, Drug Court, Newton Wellesley Hospital, Newton Public Schools, the City Council, and community partners who work in the recovery community. Newton PATH is taking a multi-pronged approach to tackling this complex issue, organized into the PATH acronym Prevention, Awareness, Treatment, and Hope. 

The working group, formally launched in late 2015, has made some significant efforts to date and has more underway. For a complete list of Newton PATH's efforts to date, please click here.


We promote the following:


Need Narcan? Click for more information on Newton's Narcan Training and Distribution Program

If you need more information or need to talk about treatment, support, or other resources, call the Health and Human Services Department at (617) 796-1420, hours: M-F 8:30am-5pm. Get help and never worry alone.

Family Support Group (free)

Wednesdays 5:15-7:15
McLean Hospital
Proctor House, Room G17 (basement level)
115 Mill St.
Belmont, MA 02478



Be part of the SOLUTION for opioid epidemic -- Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet (Click for flyer)

Misuse of prescription drugs is a common way for teens and adults to start down the road of addiction. The most typical place young people get access to prescription drugs is their home medicine cabinet. A few simple steps can have a significant impact on limiting unsafe access to these powerful drugs:

  1. Immediately and safely dispose of any unused medication. (Click for more information on where and how to dispose of unused medication)

  2. Secure all prescription drugs that are currently being used in a lock box or other inaccessible location.

  3. Track all prescriptions, including counting pills to ensure they are not being taken inappropriately.

  4. Talk to your kids about never taking any drugs that are not prescribed specifically for them by their health care provider.

  5. Talk to your health care provider about limiting prescriptions of opioids and seeking alternative strategies for pain management when possible. 

Regional information and support:

- Gavin Foundation (857-207-5883) Gavin Foundation is a non-profit, multi-service agency providing comprehensive, community-based substance use education, prevention and treatment programs. Gavin offers drop-in support and referrals, community-based peer-to-peer support, support groups, referrals to detox and all other types of substance use programs, long term recovery support including post-treatment stabilization, referrals to mental health services, and referrals for basic needs (food insecurity, shelter).

- William James College Interface Referral Service (888-244-6843)- Mental health and wellness (including addiction treatment/recovery resources) referral Helpline accessible Monday-Friday 9am-5pm. Available for children, adults and families as well as educators and mental health professionals. Call to be matched with a specialist in your preferred location, insurance and specialty needs.

- Newton Wellesley Hospital Substance Use Services (SUS)- Newton Wellesley Hospital's Substance Use Services provide consultative inpatient and outpatient services to patients suffering from addiction or substance use disorder. The services that they provide include consultations, medication-assisted treatment, and education. Contact: 617-243-6062

- Massachusetts Helpline- The Helpline is the only statewide public resource for finding substance use treatment and recovery services. Contact: 800-327-5050

- New England Addiction Outreach- Provides daily updates on available detox beds (see Facebook page for more details) community outreach, treatment consulting and recovery coaching.

- Massachusetts Department of Public Health- Provides resources, statistics, and more information on the opioid epidemic in Massachusetts.

- Get Smart About Drugs: A DEA Resource for Parents, Educators, and Caregivers- Resource with links for families, including data trends and other information about keeping kids safe

Newton PATH resource materials

- What's in your medicine cabinet?- This guide outlines why and how to get rid of unused medication.

- Addiction Recovery Resource Guide- This guide lists various recovery resources including inpatient detox, outpatient centers, residential treatment options, and more.

-Guide to Finding Substance Use Treatment- Provides information on what to look for when choosing treatment for you and/or your loved one.

- Newton Youth Resources Flyer- Resource flyer with youth-specific helplines, support and referrals.

- Newton Youth Substance Use Resource Card- Resource card containing youth-only treatments, referrals and other important resources.

- Adult Substance Use Resource Card- Resource card with options for referrals, treatment and other substance use resources

News & Events

MA DPH Press Release 5/15/2019: "MA opioid-related overdose death rate falls four percent"
Click here for full data set.

EVENT RECAP - Improbable Players Present: "End of the Line," May 14th, 2019
The Improbable Players performed the play "End of the Line" at Newton North to over 50 parents, teens, and community members. The play examines the opioid epidemic by following the progression of four people with substance use disorder. Each begins their opioid addiction in a unique way, demonstrating the different ways young people come in contact with opioids. Audience members had the opportunity to ask questions after the play.

MA DPH Press Release 2/13/2019: "MA Opioid-related overdose deaths decline for the second straight year"

EVENT RECAP- Opioids and Our Community, Oct. 25th, 2018
The First Baptist Church held a community forum with panelists: Deborah Youngblood, Brian Deleskey, Scott Wiener, MD, and Jonathan K. The panel talked about how our community is affected by the opioid epidemic, the resources that exist in our community, how we can help our young people, and how the community as a whole can support those affected by substance use. Workshops were offered after the forum.

EVENT RECAP- Chris and Kathi Sullivan Parent and Teen Presentation, April 10th, 2018
Chris and Kathi Sullivan presented at Newton South to over 80 parents and teens about substance use, and mental health. They talked about the positive impacts parents can have on their own teen and their teens friends.

EVENT RECAP- Chris and Kathi Sullivan Presentation at Newton North- January 23rd (North), April 6th (South)
Former Patriot Chris Sullivan and his wife Kathi Sullivan presented on mental health, addiction and making good choices to students at Newton North High School. The presentation will be offered to Newton South students coming up on April 6th, then again to the community on April 10th.

Click here for more information

EVENT RECAP-"A Dose of Reality: The Pharmacist's Role in Pain Management and Addiction"
Newton Wellesley Hospital with Newton PATH and the Needham Health Department partnered to offer this training for pharmacists on January 25th, 2018.

Click here to learn more about the event

NewTV produces video about opioid prevention resources in Newton
Click here to watch


On April 28th, 2017 Mayor Warren announced an innovative partnership with Newton-Wellesley Hospital to provide long-term care for those suffering from addiction. Learn more by clicking here.

Drop-in Recovery Resource Night
December 7, 2017
On December 7th, Newton hosted a Drop-in Recovery Resource night in collaboration with Metro Boston Project Outreach (a collaboration of the Health and Police Departments of Belmont, Lexington, Newton, Waltham, Weston, and Watertown). The night featured various recovery organizations and resources for people struggling with addiction.

GATHER FOR HOPE November 16, 2017
On November 16th, at the American Legion Post 440, we held an event for people with loved ones affected by addiction. We had three speakers Donna White, RN, Jack Reilly (parent), and Linda Botelho (Learn 2 Cope), over 15 different recovery organizations, and a Narcan training.


A judgment-free conversation among teens and adults about the risks and realities of drug & alcohol use. NewTV was there and filming. You can check out their video here.


NewTV was there and filming. Check it out here. The evening included the film, If Only, and a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Michael Jellinek. Panelists included District Attorney Marian Ryan, Dr. Susan Swick, Mike Duggan of Wicked Sober and parent Shannon Brandano.

Click here to read the full press release

Click here for the full Newton TAB article

About the Problem

Key Statistics:
For more statistics click here

  • More than 27 million Americans suffer from substance use disorders (SUD)*.
  • Across the country, 2.1 million people suffer from substance use disorders related to prescription opioids, causing 80 deaths daily.
  • In 2014, fatal overdoses in Massachusetts were more than 2X the national average .**
  • Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the US.  In 2014, 40% of those deaths were related to prescription opioids and 22% were related to heroin.
  • 80% of new heroin users started out misusing prescription painkillers.
  • More than 50% of people who misuse prescription painkillers got them for free (or took them without asking) from a friend or relative who had a prescription.  22% got them from their doctor.
  • Today, 580 people will try heroin for the first time.
  • Since 2010, heroin deaths have increased by 248%.

      * Per the 2016 Surgeon General’s Report: Facing Addiction in America

      **Per the Massachusetts Department of Public Health

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