MArtha's vineyard

Substance use disorder coalition


The mission of the Martha's Vineyard Substance Use Disorder Coalition is to engage, advocate, inform, and bring awareness to substance use disorder through education, prevention, treatment, and recovery to build a healthy, safe, and addiction free community.

VALUESWe believe that substance use disorder is a brain disease. It is not a choice or a moral failing.

We believe that substance use disorders require treatment, and individuals in treatment deserve respect and support, just like anyone with a chronic illness - mental or physical.

We believe that substance use disorder prevention and education efforts are critical to winning the battle with addiction. Knowledge is power.

We believe that breaking the stigma surrounding addiction and substance use disorder is key to ending mental health disparity.

We believe that individuals suffering from substance use disorder and their loved ones need continual support throughout addiction, treatment and beyond.

We believe that together we can tackle the serious problem of addiction and substance use disorder on Martha's Vineyard.


In May 2016, a group of concerned citizens, including many families directly affected by the opioid crises, began to raise awareness about opioid and alcohol use on Martha's Vineyard.

The grassroots effort led to the development of the Martha's Vineyard Island-wide Substance Use Disorder (SUD) coalition to begin to identify and bridge gaps in services for those suffering from substance use disorder within the community.

The grassroots effort led to the development of the Martha's Vineyard Island-wide Substance Use Disorder (SUD) coalition to begin to identify and bridge gaps in services for those suffering from substance use disorder within the community.

The SUD is an unaffiliated coalition consisting of community partners from across the Island who have come together to provide support, education, prevention, treatment and recovery options for those affected by substance use disorder.


The Coalition consists of a number of working groups supporting specific research and public awareness initiatives. Accomplishments to date include:

  • Developed formal agreements and partnerships with three off-Island detox facilities to give Islanders easier access to detox facilities that do not exist on the Vineyard. The Detox Program began in 2016 as collaboration between MVH, MVCS Gosnold in Falmouth, and Stanley Street Treatment and Resources in Fall River. To date, the program has helped nearly 200 individuals on their path toward recovery.
  • Recruited, trained and employed a cadre of recovery coaches at MVCS and MVH to accompany patients to and from detoxification, and provide support for follow-up treatment.
  • Employed a SUD outreach worker through funds appropriated by Dukes County.
  • MVCS opened an Urgent Care Center (Island Intervention Center) with capacity to respond to dual diagnoses, as well as provide MAT (including Suboxone and Vivitrol) for both alcohol - and opioid-based disorders, as well as counseling and testing through MVCS’ Island Counseling Center.
  • Helped organize and participated in a Candlelight Vigil on the Island as part of an effort to draw attention to the opioid epidemic for International Overdose Awareness Day.
  • Initiated a working group to explore the feasibility of an Island-based public health education effort focused on changing the Island’s culture of substance use.
  • Dukes County and Health Imperatives partnered with the AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod (ASGCC) to bring a Harm Reduction Center to the Island. Services are free (funded by Mass DPH) and include clean needle exchange, syringe access, STI and HIV/HepC testing, Narcan training and distribution, overdose education, home delivery, secondary exchange and short-term primary care and referrals to appropriate services.


  • The SUD Public Health Campaign committee is leading an effort to launch a public health behavior change campaign with the help of the Public Good Projects (an evidence-based national nonprofit organization) to promote a model where responsible use of alcohol and drugs replaces the current permissive culture; where alcohol and drug use is postponed by youth, or avoided altogether; where alcohol or drugs are used mindfully, in a manner that does no harm to self, family or community.
  • An initiative to create a comprehensive Narcan education program for the Island to educate and train municipalities, health/social services populations, and the community at large.
  • An Island Recovery Support Center (RSC) to offer peer-to-peer recovery support services, education, activities, and information that supports ‘all paths to recovery.


The coalition has representation from:

Concerned community members
Members of the recovery community
AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod
Aquinnah Police Department
Break the Silence MV
Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office
Chilmark Town Police Dept
Edgartown Police Department
Dukes County Administration
Dukes County Commissioners
Dukes County Community Corrections
Dukes County Sheriff's Office

Edgartown Police DepartmentHealth Imperatives / MV Family PlanningHealthy Aging MV
Island Clergy Association

Island Health CareIsland Wide Youth CollaborativeLearn to Cope
Martha's Vineyard Boards of Health
Martha's Vineyard Community Services
Martha’s Vineyard Drug Task Force
Martha's Vineyard Hospital
Martha’s Vineyard Public Schools
Narcotics Anonymous
Oak Bluffs Police Department
Tisbury Police Department
Vineyard House 
West Tisbury Police Department
YMCA of Martha's Vineyard
Youth Task Force