The HCO works as the lead drug and alcohol prevention voice and policy making body for the City of Providence.
- Hosting drug take back-days to assist Providence residents in safely disposing of unused and expired prescription medications
- Collaborating with the Department of Senior Services and community partners about prescription prevention programs for seniors at Providence Senior Centers
- Educating parents, seniors and other community members about the City’s Tobacco Free Parks ordinance and tobacco products marketed to youth
- Publication of the Providence Mental Health Resource Guide
Substance Use Disorder Prevention Programming
School Assemblies About Substance Use Disorder
The HCO coordinates school-wide assemblies at Providence middle and high schools. Keynote speakers include Mayor Jorge O. Elorza, and representatives from the City, State, and U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Senior Health & Wellness Program
The HCO partners with the Department of Senior Services to provide education on prescription drug prevention programs to senior residence high-rises and Senior Centers. Additionally, seniors participate in Zumba and physical activities as an overall wellness approach. This program is funded by the City of Providence, Neighborhood Health Plan of RI, and Walgreens.
If interested in bringing any of the above programs to your community or organization, please contact the HCO.
Facts about the Legal Use of Marijuana
Tobacco Policy and Education
The HCO works to build a healthy, safe, and strong community that is free from the harmful effects of tobacco. We seek to reduce youth initiation of, and addiction to, tobacco and nicotine products; limit tobacco exposure in the retail setting and public locations; and connect residents with smoking cessation resources to help quit.
Tobacco Free Parks
The sale and use of any and all tobacco products is prohibited in all parks, playgrounds, and recreational centers owned by the City of Providence (Providence Ordinance 18-22; Enacted December 11, 2014). In addition to addressing secondhand smoke, the ordinance protects children by creating a tobacco-free environment and limits youth exposure to use of other non-smoke tobacco and nicotine products such as chewing tobacco, snus and electronic cigarettes. Products approved by the Food and Drug Administration for smoking cessation are not included in the ban. Any violation of this ordinance is hereby declared to be a public nuisance punishable by a civil fine of $50.
Tobacco 21: Rhode Island
Did you know? Rhode Island retailers cannot sell tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21.
T21 Rhode Island Social Media Toolkit Now LIVE!
Check out the tools and resources in the T21 Rhode Island
Social Media Toolkit!
Alcohol and Tobacco Compliance Check Dashboards
The City of Providence conducts tobacco and/or alcohol compliance checks on a bi-monthly basis. Compliance checks are a tool the City and law enforcement use to reduce the sales of alcohol and tobacco products to underage youth. This includes checking for compliance at smoke shops, drug stores, vape shops, hookah bars, liquor stores, grocery stores, and convenience stores. The compliance check assesses whether or not the retailer asks the customer for a photo ID and their age, if the retailer sells the product, and if so, what product is sold.
The results of these compliance checks are entered into a database, and the data is used to better educate tobacco and alcohol retailers on how to prevent alcohol and tobacco sales to underage youth.
Questions about these dashboards? Contact Tanya Gilbert at .
Prescription and Other Drugs
Prescription Drug and Other Drug Take-Back
To prevent misuse of prescription medications and ensure proper disposal, the HCO coordinates two drug take-back days annually, aligning with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Drug Enforcement Administration scheduled dates. Additionally the HCO partnered with both the Providence Police Department and Walgreens to provide year-round promotion of the MedReturn Bin at the Providence Public Safety Complex and Walgreens Pharmacy (533 Elmwood Avenue). Providence residents may anonymously drop off unused and expired medicines at the bin 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Unused or expired medications may also be returned to your pharmacy.
For More Information
Check out our most recent Providence Mental Health Resource Guide (English Version) (Spanish Version)
RI Prevention Resource Center (RIPRC) – The RIPRC is dedicated to providing training, technical assistance, and capacity-building resources to Rhode Island substance abuse prevention providers and their community partners.
Prevent Overdose RI – This project is an initiative of Governor Daniel J. McKee’s Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force.
Tobacco Free RI – A statewide network of organizations and individuals working to reduce tobacco use.
Want to find out more about how to stay alcohol, tobacco and other drug free?
Learn more about Mayor’s Coalition on Behavioral Health meetings.
Family Services of Rhode Island
Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island