OBSERVER CORPS REPORT June 2020
The Commission on Substance Use (hereafter referred to as “the Commission” or “CSU”) has been meeting consistently the fourth Thursday of every month from 5:30 – 7 pm at the Gus Canty Recreation Center. CSU’s mission is
to prevent substance use among Falmouth’s citizens, provide information and education to the community and to promote the development and availability of a continuum of substance abuse services for all Falmouth residents.
The meetings are open to the public and continue to provide an update on a vast array of special projects and ongoing initiatives in support of CSU’s mission.
Chaired by Beverly Costa-Ciavola, the Commission has been operating with two vacancies through much of 2019 and into 2020. The other voting members are Chad Faulkner and Kath Schilling. Suzanne Hauptmann, LICSW, who is Director of Falmouth Human Services, remains an active participant in the CSU meetings and activities. Other representatives of Substance Use Disorder (SUD) agencies often attend meetings as well, including Kim Slade (Program Specialist with the Barnstable County Department of Human Services). In February 2020, the Commission welcomed Samantha Bauer as a new commissioner, having recently been appointed by the Board of Selectmen.
In the months of January and February, CSU actively moved forward with several initiatives. For example, at its January 23rd meeting, the Commission received a briefing from Chief Dunne of the Falmouth Police Department regarding the Hidden In Plain Sight initiative, aimed at educating Falmouth citizens about ways in which common clothing items and accessories are used as storage/hiding devices for drugs and drug paraphernalia (e.g. hoodie sweatshirt with a built-in vaping tube). The Regional Substance Use Coalition (RSAC) is also a regular invitee to CSU meetings, providing updates on its efforts to create a universal guide to Upper Cape Recovery Resources and other projects. Minutes and the Treasurer’s Report were reviewed and approved at both meeting, as quorum was reached for both the January 23rd and February 27th sessions.
During the COVID19 pandemic CSU has not continued with meetings either in-person or via Zoom or other conferencing means. The last two meetings (at which all voting members were in attendance) were held on January 23, 2020 and February 27, 2020. This report summarizes activity and status for the period January 23 – June 17, 2020. The Commission has, however, maintained contact with each other via email to keep apprised on matters such as Town trainings on Zoom conferencing, updates related to COVID19 and the State reopening plan, and will likely resume in-person meetings once Massachusetts enters that particular phase of Governor Baker’s Reopening Plan.
Maro V. Titus, LWVF Observer
Note: As of the issuing of this Observer Corps report, Maro Titus will no longer be serving at the LWVF representative to the Commission on Substance Use. On June 15, 2020, Ms. Titus was appointed by the Falmouth Board of Selectmen to a two-year term on the Commission on Substance Use.