MY CHOICE MATTERS Toolkit
My Choice Matters is a social norming campaign that works with a coordinated system of prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery partners, so that Cape Cod Communities are happy, healthy, safe and thriving.
MY CHOICE MATTERS
Substance use is a concern nationwide and on Cape Cod. Our region has a high rate of alcohol use, a troubling opioid problem and correlating issues that wear on the fabric of our community.
However, we are a community that chooses not to shy from these issues, but to address them head on because we matter, our children matter, and our neighbors matter.
When it comes to substance use, choice matters - our choices as individuals and our choices as a society. Whether it be a young person standing at a party being offered alcohol for the first time, or a person in active addiction deciding now is the time to take steps toward recovery, their choices will impact their lives and the lives of those around them.
Many teenagers on Cape Cod do not drink alcohol or use drugs – a fact that may be surprising. A young person who knows that they are not alone in their decision to say ‘no’ to substances can have the strength to stand up to the perceived pressure to use them. Their choice matters, as do the choices of their peers.
Parents have more influence than anyone else – including peers – on their child’s choice whether or not to drink alcohol or use drugs. Children care about what their parents think and mimic what their parents do. Parents can choose to learn how alcohol and drugs affect young people and this knowledge will empower them to speak with their children often and honestly to guide their decisions.
People who are actively addicted have a disease that can rob them of their health, family, job, friends, money, place in society, and identity. It was not their intent to become addicted to alcohol or drugs, but accepting that their lives and their choices matter empowers people in active addiction to begin the journey to recovery on a path of their own choosing.
The Cape Cod community is united in its choice to address the substance use issue. Coming together to guide our children, promote self-empowerment and support our neighbors in their journey from addiction to recovery is the path we have chosen. Our legislators, law enforcement, business leaders, local government, and the community as a whole are united in our efforts to empower each citizen to believe that “My Choice Matters."
My Choice Matters campaign materials are available for use by public and private organizations agreeing to use them according to the campaign Standards and Guidelines.
Please contact Barnstable Department of Human Services (508-375-6628) for information about using:
- Print Ads/Posters
- Radio Files
2017 My Choice Matters Campaign
The Barnstable County Department of Human Services
The mission of the Barnstable County Department of Human Services is to plan, develop, and implement programs which enhance the overall delivery of human services in Barnstable County, to promote the health and social well-being of County residents through regional efforts designed to improve coordination and efficiency of human services, and designed to strengthen the fabric of community care available to all.
The Barnstable County Regional Substance Use Council
The Regional Substance Use Council (RSAC) was organized by the Barnstable County Department of Human Services in 2014 and is comprised of town coalitions, elected officials from the local, state, and federal levels, the Sheriff and District Attorney’s offices, police, first responders, probation, drug court, school nurses, school superintendents, and drug treatment, recovery, and healthcare providers. The RSAC has work groups focusing on Prevention, Intervention, Treatment and Recovery.
The purpose of the Barnstable County Regional Substance Use Council (RSAC) is to establish a communication infrastructure across towns, providers, organizations, and individuals on Cape Cod. This allows us as a region to identify and address gaps and disparities in the service system, maximize inter-agency collaboration and to maximize funding and resource opportunities.
Barnstable County will have a coordinated and comprehensive regional approach to substance use across the continuum of prevention, treatment, intervention, and recovery.
The core functions of the Barnstable County Regional Substance Use Council are to:
- Establish and maintain a Cape-wide Regional Substance Use Council
- Establish a legislative and advocacy plan to effect policy change
- Facilitate funding and support of identified regional priorities
- Establish a communication strategy
- Support evidenced-based and promising practices and programs
- Provide surveillance, information management, and technical assistance
The Regional Substance Use Council has multi-sector representation from stakeholders and organizations working on the issue of substance use in Barnstable County. RSAC has representation from each of the 15 towns, elected officials, hospital, treatment providers, community health centers, law enforcement, schools, first responders, parents, faith-based, youth, business community, and people in recovery.