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2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey 

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health released the new video Legal Marijuana in MA – What Parents Should Know to provide parents in Massachusetts with information on marijuana, including "what is legal, responsible use, health effects, and more."


Watch the video Addiction: Said No Teen Ever produced by our friends on the National Council for Behavioral Health:

See the video below for a message from our prevention friends at the Norfolk District Attorney's office and Arlington's own John Sofis Scheft about social host liability.

Parents, please support the health of your teens by hosting safe, SUBSTANCE-FREE parties in Arlington!


Vision Statement

The Arlington Youth Health & Safety Coalition envisions Arlington as a safe and vibrant community where youth choose to live substance free, and are collectively supported by their peers, parents and community members in making healthy decisions.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Coalition is to engage, inform and empower our community to prevent and reduce substance abuse and other risk behaviors that adversely affect Arlington youth.

If you would like to become more involved, sign up to receive our monthly newsletter, or join us at one of our monthly Coalition meetings held once a month on Thursdays in September - June at the Whittemore Robbins House.


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Who We Are:

AYHSC is a community coalition with representatives from public (police, schools, local government) and private (churches, businesses, youth-serving organizations) agencies, as well as parents and youth. Using a public health approach to prevention and intervention, AYHSC focuses on positive community change through education, environmental initiatives, policy development, and improving youth access to treatment.

Major Highlights:

  • Hosted community forums and parent discussions around prevention of youth substance use.
  • Facilitated "Guiding Good Choices," a parenting program to improve family management and communication, and reduce risk factors for youth substance abuse.
  • AYHSC Student Advisors take part in "Sticker Shocks" and social media campaigns.
  • Published monthly substance abuse prevention educational columns in the Arlington Advocate.
  • Chris Herren (former Boston Celtics player) presented "THP: Project Purple" at AHS.
  • Initiated student court Diversion Program at AHS.
  • Installed a drug kiosk in the Arlington Police Department to dispose of unused prescription medications (open 24/7!)
  • Performed alcohol/tobacco compliance checks in collaboration with local businesses.
  • Increased the purchase age of tobacco and nicotine delivery products to 21, and most recently collaborated with the BOH to ban the sale of all flavored tobacco products in Arlington (as of March 1, 2015).

For more information please see our brochure and Infographics:

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Meet Our AYHSC Staff:


Karen A. Koretsky

Karen has held several leadership roles within the Arlington community including : Education Director of Artistry Studio,  Russell Fund Coordinator for Robbins Library, Education Director for Arlington Center for the Arts, Arlington Cultural Council member, advisory board member for Our Space (art therapy for children and teens with cancer), volunteer grief counselor for The Children's Room, and art teacher for The Sudanese Education Fund.

She has forged positive and meaningful relationships with youth and adults in Arlington and is eager to leverage her community relationships to engage parents in prevention initiatives, and increase youth involvement in the Coalition. Karen's involvement with the AYHSC began in 2007 when she joined the Coalition as a Parent Sector Representative and Guiding Good Choices Facilitator. During her time as a Parent  Representative she created the first youth advisory board, launched the newsletter and trained in Mental Health First Aid.  In 2012, she joined the Coalition as the Youth and Outreach Coordinator.

As the Coalition's Director, Karen coordinates daily activities of the Arlington Youth Health and Safety Coalition, including coalition initiatives, meetings, surveys and assessment, and strategic planning.  Karen identifies and evaluates existing policies and practices that address youth access to alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.