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Deadline set for Northampton school families to join Safe Homes network

NORTHAMPTON — Families of students at Northampton High School, Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School and JFK Middle School have until Friday to sign up for the Safe Homes network sponsored by the Northampton Prevention Coalition.

The Safe Homes directory lists names of parents and guardians who have agreed not to serve or allow minors to consume alcohbol or drugs in their homes. Participants also agree to actively supervise any parties that take place in their homes and to be open to communicating with other parents “in an effort to create a safer community for our children.”

Research shows that teens are less likely to use drugs or alcohol when adults set clear expectations “and when they believe their community does not approve of teen use,” Marisa Hebble, the coalition’s community health specialist, said in a statement announcing the deadline.

“Even if you think your teens have already engaged in use, you are still the most influential force in their lives and you can still make a difference in preventing or reducing continued substance use,” she said.

The number of families who have joined the Safe Homes directory has more than tripled since the program began three years ago, from 40 to more than 120, the coalition reported.

Families who want to join the Safe Homes network can sign up online at http://northamptonprevents.org/parents/safehomes/

Details are also available by calling or emailing Hebble at 587-1157, marisa@northamptonprevents.org.

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