The Engage the Community Program developed in New England has been chosen by the Rotarian Action Group for Addiction Prevention as the premier program for Rotary Clubs to implement in their communities. Based on the brain science of addiction with a focus on tobacco, alcohol, marijuana and opioids, Rotary Clubs will welcome  all stakeholders in their communities to convene and discuss the current status, the response required and action steps to reduce addiction and its associated stigma. The initiative supports those who are currently committed to addressing and reducing addiction and educates youth and adults about how to reduce exposure to drug use and minimize the harm caused by addictive substances in our communities.
The community forum is the first step and welcomes all stakeholders to attend the event, including:
• Prevention Experts • Health Care Professionals
• Recovery Experts • Local Government Officials
• Schools & Educators   • Law Enforcement & First Responders                               
• Religious Leaders • Youth & Civic Group Leaders
• Parents • Rotarians

Through a mix of media and structured discussion, community stakeholders will review the brain science of addiction, and the increased risk to the teen brain. As participants learn about the driving forces of addiction and local activity working to address it, the program enhances supportive and collaborative relationships among stakeholders as they engage in shared action steps to address the issue upstream at the local level.

The Tookit is available for $895 and includes a thumb drive with the five videos and an instruction manual to assist with planning the forum.


The School-Based Program

Designed for the device-enabled classroom, this teacher-paced and guided course engages youth through classroom discussion with the use of investigative social media skills. Students research and discuss the harms and impacts of addictive substances, the brain chemistry of addiction, the risk to the developing brain, and practice effective refusals skills. Individuals develop drug media literacy and learn how to better analyze and think critically about the science and harms of drug use, including environmental influences that downplay harms.

The one-hour training program for teachers who deliver the program is $350. The course is $5 per student with a minimum  $500 purchase. The course is available for implementation in public or private high schools, religious communities or other youth groups.

Middle and elementary school-aged programs are in development and will be available in the future.
Danvers, Manchester Essex, Marblehead, Marblehead Harbor, Greater Salem (NH) and Amesbury have already received presentations. Want to get a glimpse of the program, visit and view the webinar here from the Toronto International Convention. If you would like to learn more about what you can do to get this program started in your community, contact David Gardner at