Author Archives: msullivan

Winchester Lived Experience Survey

Share your experience:

The Winchester Lived Experience Survey is designed to gather information about specific instances of discrimination, harrassment, marginalization, or exclusion that people have experienced in Winchester, based on any aspect(s) of their identity. This could include a negative experience you had based on race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, gender identity, ability, country of origin, citizenship status, or any other aspects of your identity.

You may complete this survey on your own behalf or on behalf of a child or older adult in your care. You may also assist another person who needs translation or technical assistance to complete this survey. We ask that you use this survey to report on one experience. You are welcome to submit additional surveys if you’d like to provide information on multiple experiences.

Women & Alcohol

We have been thinking about women and alcohol a lot lately. Alcohol use is prevalent in our society and for many people alcohol is not an issue. They can enjoy a glass or decide they don’t feel like drinking. For others, it’s not that easy. People of all genders and ages can struggle with problematic drinking. For women there are additional issues to consider and that is the focus of this post. Please check out our new flyers and our articles of interest and resources. And then we would love to hear from you! Here is a short anonymous survey:

Articles of Interest:

‘Moderate alcohol consumption has been linked to an approximate 30-50% increased risk in breast cancer. Case-control and cohort studies have consistently observed this modest increase.”

“What was previously a 3-1 ratio for risky drinking habits in men versus women is closer to 1-to-1 globally, a 2016 analysis of several dozen studies suggested.
And the latest U.S. data from 2019 shows that women in their teens and early 20s reported drinking and getting drunk at higher rates than their male peers — in some cases for the first time since researchers began measuring such behavior.
Although the gender gap in alcohol consumption is narrowing among all ages, the reasons differ. For people over 26, women are increasing their alcohol consumption faster than men. 
Research suggests that people who drink to cope — as opposed to drinking for pleasure — have a higher risk of developing alcohol use disorder. And while every individual’s reasons for drinking are different, studies have found that women are more likely to drink to cope than men.”

More on women and alcohol:


Delicious Mocktails!

Enjoy these delicious non alcoholic drinks and have fun!

(aka Mock Champagne)
2 (2 liter) bottles ginger ale
46 oz. pineapple juice
64 oz. white grape juice
Combine ingredients in a large punch bowl. An ice ring made with ginger ale and/or the pre-made mixture keeps the “bubbly” cold and won’t dilute it like ice might. Include edible flowers or fruit (cranberries, strawberries, etc.) to make festive.

(aka Apple Cider Mocktini)
½ cup apple cider or juice
¼ cup orange juice
1 splash pomegranate juice
1 cinnamon stick
Coming apple cider, orange juice, and pomegranate juice. Stir well. Pour into glass and add a cinnamon stick for garnish.

(aka Sparking Ginger Cranberry Mocktail)
2 oz. unsweetened cranberry juice
4 oz. ginger beer
Fresh cranberries, for garnish
Pour cranberry juice into a glass. Pour the ginger beer on top and stir. Garnish with fresh cranberries and enjoy. A sugar-rimmed glass adds a nice, festive touch.

(aka Raspberry Lemonade Fizz)
1 (6 oz.) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 (2 liter) bottle ginger ale
6 oz of raspberry syrup
In a large pitcher or punch bowl, combine ingredients and serve over ice. Double or triple recipe for a crowd. Garnish with lemon slices or raspberries. Cindy Bohne

Are There Any Alternatives When A Physician Offers My Child Opioids for Pain? (from Partnership for Drug-Free Kids)

Whether your child has struggled with opioid dependence or other substance use issues previously, or whether you’re just concerned about the current opioid crisis, there’s good reason to want your child’s pain to be managed – if possible – by something other than prescription opioid pills. Eventually, your child might have an orthopedic injury or need a tooth pulled at the dentist, so what happens then?

While opioid medications may be effective for treating pain in the short-term, they have an extremely high propensity for addiction and do nothing to address the underlying cause of the pain.

The good news is that there are many alternatives to opioids that can help alleviate your child’s pain. Below, we’ve helped to spell them out for you and have provided guidance on how to ask your doctor about these alternatives.

Finish the article here:

Dear Friends,

Over 10 years ago we changed our name from the Winchester Substance Abuse Coalition to the Winchester Coalition for a Safer Community.  Although we spend a lot of time working to educate the community regarding issues of substance misuse and other risky behaviors, we also address issues of mental health, identity and self-esteem since we believe that they are all interrelated.  We wanted our name to represent our broader mission.

As an organization committed to the safety and well-being of our residents, we condemn anything that threatens this safety and well-being.  We condemn racism and violence in all forms.  We were sickened by the murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis officers, which is just one example of so many horrific assaults against the black community.  We stand in solidarity with those who are protesting peacefully.  

Our town has evolved and grown, and we welcome residents from many countries and cultures.  We celebrate our diversity in our schools and town organizations.  We believe that recognizing white privilege is a critical step in building a community that is just and equitable for all members, and we will work to educate ourselves regarding issues of systemic racial injustice.  We will continue to stand for policies that treat addiction as a public health issue and to call for treatment — not jail sentences — for  those who are struggling.  We will look for concrete steps that we can take to make change.

As part of this, we will continue to work with our partners: Winchester Public Schools, Winchester Police Department, Winchester Fire Department, the Jenks Center, Winchester Public Library, Parent to Parent, the Winchester Foundation for Educational Excellence, and the Network for Social Justice.  We are pleased that our town leaders are also committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, with zero tolerance for racism, hatred or bigotry.

For those who want to take steps right now, see the links below from the Obama Foundation: