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The Full Story

 In 2010,  Elizabeth Griffin, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, John Doble, a retired Bourne police detective, Shaun Cahill, a former youth prevention specialist, and Donna Beers, a Bourne school nurse and mother whose family has been impacted by substance use, joined together to create and present educational programs to the community in response to the number of opioid related hospitalizations and deaths occurring in the town of Bourne.  

Upper Cape Tech (UCT) and Bourne High School (BHS) administrators brought Chris Herron to speak to students at both schools and to parents at BHS auditorium.  This event reached over 1,000 students and community members.

Multiple Narcan training events were conducted at UCT and hundreds of individuals were trained to administer and were given Narcan to protect their loved ones.  These events reinforced the  belief that we were on the right course and we needed to continue to educate and assist those who struggle with substance use. 

These presentations grew to include representatives from the Barnstable County District Attorney’s office, educators, parents whose sons/ daughters struggled with addiction, therapists, and other community members. These volunteers all realized the importance of reaching out to young people, and educating our community about the impact of opioid use. During this time, funding came from individual donors, student and parent fundraising events, relatives of affected individuals, and church groups. 

In  2015, with the assistance from Deputy Chief Joseph Carerra from the Bourne Fire Department, we recognized the need for a more formalized organizational structure. We created the “Bourne Substance Free Coalition” and continued our efforts to face the opioid crisis and attempt to save lives from being ruined or lost due to opioid use. Our membership continues to grow and our community projects are expanding. In 2021 we received approval as a 501(C)(3) Corporation.   



The Bourne Substance Free Coalition and its partners provide education and services that encourage creation of a substance free environment for our community.  We educate, raise public awareness, and support affected individuals and their families.


To have a proactive approach by educating our children and others about  substance use and addiction and  utilize effective means to assist individuals and their families who struggle with substance use. To teach all individuals the importance of positive decision making and provide them with healthy strategies to navigate through their lives, with the ultimate goal to help others in our community.

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