Substance Abuse Awareness Program

Program Overview

Needham Youth & Family Services offers the Substance Abuse Awareness Program for Needham young people who are referred for an educational / counseling program regarding substance abuse.

This 15-hour program addresses the following areas of substance use:

  • Assessment
  • Education
  • Skill Building


In this portion, topics such as family history, initial and current use, media influences, attitude towards substances, and other risk factors are investigated. The goal is to make an accurate determination of the participants' current use of and attitude regarding substances.


This segment of the program provides information to participants regarding the potential dangers of substances. In this phase participants attend an AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) or NA (Narcotics Anonymous) meeting, discuss the impact of substance use on the body, explore areas such as addiction and dependence, learn about legal ramifications, and read up-to-date articles on a variety of drugs and alcohol.

Skill Building

In the Skill Building phase, tools for the future such as decision-making, coping with stress and peer pressure, and future goals are identified. Program participants gain an appreciation of the dangers of substances, and learn the skills needed to make mature and responsible decisions in the future.


Referrals are accepted from the Needham Police Department, Dedham District Court, public and private schools, or from parents. A $45 fee is requested from families using this program to cover the cost of materials.

This fee can be waived in the event of financial need. Learn more about the Fee Assistance Program.