What is the Alcohol and Substance Alternative Program (ASAP)?
ASAP a drug awareness program consisting of a three hour class with group instruction and group discussion educating on the science of addiction and working with the youth to understand the behaviors that got them into the course. Part of the program consists of a brief behavioral health screening to determine if the child is in need of a further substance use screening.
My child has been cited under the nuisance ordinance with a referral to ASAP, what do I do next?
A letter will be mailed to your home with details of the program and a date in which your child can attend the education course in lieu of paying the fine. If you opt to just pay the fine it can be done in the City Treasurer’s Office. Parents will be asked to provide permission for their child to participate. Participation includes a behavioral health screening.
What is the screening that youth participants will be given?
Screening will be completed using the CRAFFT tool, which will be self-administered. The CRAFFT screening is a mnemonic acronym of first letters of the keywords in the 6 yes or no questions. The CRAFFT tool is a short, effective screening to determine whether a longer conversation about the context of alcohol or substance use, frequency, and other risks and consequences is warranted.
If my child screens as a high risk substance user, what are the next steps?
If it is determined that your child may need a longer, in depth conversation and clinical screening for substance use, frequency and other risks associated with use the parent will be notified and encouraged to call the Institute for Health and Recovery, SAFE project. Contact the SAFE Project at 617-661-3991. The SAFE project will also be notified by the police department and may contact the family directly.
What if I do not want my child to participate in ASAP?
If you choose to not allow your child to attend the course, the civil fine must be paid in full at the City Treasurer’s Office. If you fail to pay the fine in full the City will follow up and/or the Police may opt to send the underage drinking violation to criminal court.
I have learned about ASAP, and although my child has not be cited by the Police Department I would like to have my child participate. Is voluntary participation allowed?
Yes. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to determine if this course is appropriate and the date in which your child can participate. An Officer will also be able to provide you with resources. Parents, school personnel, and professionals in the community may recommend youth to ASAP.
My child has been previously identified as having a problem with substance use, is this a course he/she can attend?
This class is not appropriate for persons with already identified (addiction) substance disorders. The program is intended to educate and screen for high risk substance use, it is not intended to address alcohol and substance abuse disorders. If you feel that your child has an immediate substance use disorder view the resources available to you in the area, contact IHR or your Primary Care Physician.
Will there be a criminal record for the child that has been cited?
There will be no criminal record for your child when cited under the civil ordinance. If your child participates in the education course or pays the civil fine, the infraction will remain a civil violation. The Police Department may use discretion one a case-by-case basis to determine whether they will or will not take criminal action.
What are the benefits of civil vs. criminal?
- Accountable not liable- Does not show up on youth’s record however holds them accountable
- 100% directly back to the City of Medford
- Criminal complaint would involve the DA’s diversion & doesn’t go on the Criminal Record
Will the school be notified when a child gets cited for underage drinking?
The School Resource Officer (SRO) will get notice of all youth in the community that are cited in violation of the City Nuisance Ordinance. The SRO notifies school personnel including but not limited to the principal, guidance and adjustment counselors, nursing services, and the athletic director.