Substance Abuse Prevention

Family Friendly Zones

Our CAN agencies will not be hosting Family-Friendly Zones this year.  Instead, the coalition is asking the community to bring the zones home so that the entire community is encompassed by our message.  St. Patrick’s Day is not only a celebration but also a source of childhood memories.  Create vivid, joyous, and proud childhood memories by displaying our message through the St. Patrick’s Day season to make the entire parade route a Family-Friendly Zone for the St. Patrick’s Day/Evacuation Day Parade on Sunday, March 15th.

To expand the Family-Friendly Zone to the entire neighborhood, we ask residents to display our signs on their homes to remind people that South Boston is a community and should be respected.  We also have buttons with the message: “together we CAN celebrate” created by Artists for Humanity.  These free signs and buttons are available at participating coalition agencies including: The South Boston Action Center at 424 West Broadway, The Laboure Center at 275 West Broadway, Julie’s Family Learning Center at 133 Dorchester Street, Medicine Wheel Productions at 110 K Street, Artists for Humanity at 100 West 2nd Street, The South Boston Neighborhood House at 136 H Street, and The Tierney Learning Center at 125 Mercer Street.

We also want to thank Captain Greland and the Boston Police Department for all that they do to keep our community safe!

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Free Community TIPS Server Training

Please RSVP to Kay Walsh at 617-269-5160 ext. 126 or by email to Tara Doran at

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Join us for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day!

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Mayor Walsh: All 1st Responders Will Carry Narcan

Members of the drug prevention and treatment community in Boston, including Kay Walsh of South Boston CAN Reduce Underage Drinking, stood with Mayor Marty Walsh at South Boston Police Station District C-6 yesterday as he announced that the Boston Public Health Commission will train Boston police officers and firefighters to use Narcan — the opioid overdose reversal medication — so that all first responders in the city will have access to the medication. Full story here.


Click here to watch a Narcan demonstration by Sarah Mackin of the Boston Public Health Commission AHOPE Program.

BPHC Narcan

Got Drugs?

Dispose of expired prescriptions at the South Boston C-6 Police Station 24 hours a day, 7 days a week — no questions asked.

South Boston C-6 Police Station
101 West Broadway
South Boston, MA 02127

BPHC Drug Take BAck Kiosks

What is collected?

Prescription medications
Over-the-Counter medications
Pet medications
Sample medications
Pills, capsules, inhalers, ointment & patches
Liquids in glass or leak-proof containers

What is not collected?

Bloody or infectious waste
Aerosol cans

It’s safe, easy, free, and confidential!

Just make sure to scratch off all identifying information on the prescription label.


The increase of overdoses fatal and non-fatal has the community on alert.  The Boston Public Health Department has outreach workers on the street actively contacting our homeless and street populations. The effective use of NARCAN can save lives; the outreach workers have kits and can teach how it is used. They are visiting recovery houses, treatment centers, and all public access spots trying get the word out.

You, the residents of South Boston, need to get the word out to friends, family members, neighbors, and co-workers.  Coming from the South Shore is a batch of heroin that has resulted in 5 deaths and multiple overdoses.  If you know of someone who is an active user be vigilant, speak up, and warn them.

Call 911 immediately if you witness a suspected drug overdose.

For more information call: AHOPE (617) 534-3967

Contact person from South Boston CAN, Kay Walsh (617) 308-1154

BPHC Health Advisory 7-23-13


CAN Reduce Underage Drinking works with St. Patrick’s Day parade planners, police

Kay is making an impact on Southie! Read the Globe article about her work during St. Patty’s day celebrations:

South Boston group offers sober alternative amid St. Patrick’s revelry

By Cara Bayles, Town Correspondent

Kay Walsh, director of a group called South Boston CAN Reduce Underage Drinking, sat at the head of a conference table in a back room of the Mount Washington Bank, flanked by high-ranking police officials and her fellow neighborhood organizers.

Year round, Walsh’s group works to offer youths of South Boston alternatives to drug and alcohol addiction, which disproportionately grips the small neighborhood. The St. Patrick’s Day parade represents an annual push by the group to reclaim Southie as “family friendly” and welcoming to residents who are trying to stay sober.

“One of the things we really want to do is make our community better for it, and in the end, for our relationship with police and our children and our families to be improved,” she said as she began Friday’s planning meeting.
Officers promised to put up signs in MBTA stations warning that police will issue citations for public drinking. Boston Police plan on stepping up enforcement all weekend, and bars and package stores will close early Sunday.

South Boston CAN faces an uphill battle this weekend, since the parade is infamous for public drunkenness and general rowdiness. Walsh said it’s been a particularly tough year for the group, with the down economy hurting Southie residents and the South Boston Action Center and other community organizations facing funding cuts.

“My energy’s gone,” she said by way of an apology at the beginning of the meeting.

Yet, the group has rallied, and organized several alternatives to the holiday’s drinking culture. They’re distributing signs and stickers for residences and businesses reminding visitors to respect the neighborhood. They’ve helped support the Boys and Girls Club’s South Boston Road Race and a family friendly gathering at Saint Vincent’s Hall.

South Boston CAN has also set up alcohol-free “family-friendly parade zones” along the parade route; at the Action Center, Grace Church and the Laboure. They will feature activities for children and volunteers dressed as Clifford the Big Red Dog, Dora the Explorer, Elmo and Winnie the Pooh. Police will be assigned to these sites, since there have been problems in the past with drunk onlookers walking through the sites.

“All the officers assigned to family friendly zones should know, we’ve had some situations where drunk people want their pictures taken with the characters as a joke,” said Mark McGonagle, of the Youth Development Network, before the group collectively recalled a time when the characters still marched in the parade, and an enthusiastic fan caused Cookie Monster’s head to come off and roll for several blocks down N Street.

South Boston CAN also advised state Representative Nick Collins to write to local college presidents asking that they warn students against public drunkenness on Sunday. Collins said he’s heard that both UMass Boston and Harvard have sent campus-wide emails to students.

Next year, the group has pledge it will meet with more neighborhood associations before the parade. South Boston’s district captain, Richard Evans, said that another goal might be to contend with marketing around the event on tourism websites.

“They’ll list the top ten Irish destinations, and it’ll say, ‘South Boston parade: an Irish Mardi Gras.’ People come in from Buffalo, and they think they can drink on the streets,” Evans said.