Established in 2014, the Quaboag Hills Substance Use Alliance is a partnership of local hospitals, school districts, behavioral health agencies,religious organizations, police departments, town administrations, mental health professionals, fire & rescue departments, businesses, youth groups and organizations, substance use treatment service providers, and community members who care about community-based substance use prevention, treatment and recovery supports.
The Alliance began as a program under the auspices of the Quaboag Hills Community Coalition.
The QHUSA mission is to work collaboratively to prevent and reduce substance misuse, especially among youth; to break down the stigma associated with substance use disorder; to reduce health problems resulting from substance use disorder; to contribute to community efforts to expand access to treatment services, and to value all pathways to recovery.
Regionally, the Alliance partners with the Hampshire County Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Education (HOPE) project co-lead by the Northwestern District Attorney; the Strategic Planning Initiative for Family and Youth (SPIFFY) Coalition, addressing underage drinking and marijuana use; and is a member of the Hampden County District Attorney’s Addiction Task Force (HCAT) and the Worcester County District Attorney’s Opioid Task Force.
In 2015, the Alliance was funded with a start-up grant from Baystate Health Eastern Region’s Community Benefits Advisory Council.In 2016, the town of Ware and the Alliance were awarded a 5-year federal Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program grant. We have also received grant funding from the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts and the Public Health Services Commissioned Officers Foundation. In 2019, the QHSUA was awarded another federal grant to address underage drinking and the risk of impaired driving.
QHSUA serves local communities that are located in Hampshire, Hampden and Worcester Counties – the towns of Barre, Belchertown, Brimfield, Brookfield, Hardwick, Hubbardston, Holland, Monson, New Braintree, North Brookfield, Oakham, Palmer, Spencer, Wales, Ware, Warren, and West Brookfield.