Substantive is a regularly updated journalistic newsletter focusing on addiction and recovery in the Boston area, edited by me, Dakota Antelman.

All through my youth, I’ve been impacted by mental illness around me. Thus, I have become dedicated to telling stories about this global crisis.

Few outlets in Boston currently have the time and resources to cover addiction with the depth, humanity and context that it needs. While no reporting is perfect, I’m trying to fill that gap.


Journalism takes time and energy. So I need your support to keep creating content here on Substantive. Please consider subscribing to get the newsletter in your email inbox every week.

Every subscriber helps further the work being done here just as it helps amplify the necessary messages and story coming out of Boston’s addiction community.

Join the Substantive Patreon!

Through Substantive, I get to write about topics that don’t otherwise see space in other Boston news outlets. And through the editorial independence I have here, this space can be one of empathy and consideration, discussing addiction in a way that fights stigma through accountability and truth. 

I love the work I do here.

But it takes time. It takes energy. And, as a young person trying to earn a living as a journalist, those commodities aren’t necessarily in abundance for me. 

My Patreon offers five tiers of support, with monthly pledges at rates of $3, $5, $10, $25 and $50. As a bonus, each tier carries unique perks that patrons will receive through my personal Patreon page. 

Please consider joining the community!


Praise for Substantive…

In just a short time, Substantive has earned praise from readers and established a niche following particularly in the South End of Boston.

See what people have to say and don’t forget to subscribe!

  • Yahaira Lopez (Activist) - “I must say you capture the journalism of this public health crisis very well. Thank you for writing great pieces on all aspect of this matter.”

  • Megan Cunnane (Podcast Producer: Vox Media) - “…Valuable local reporting with such care. Subscribe!”

  • The Advocate for Everyone (Activist) - “I really admire what you’re doing, I haven’t come across an account that focuses in drug addiction and issues before, it’s a really important important issue especially in today’s society that glorifies the use of drugs in Hollywood but demonizes it in the real world.”

  • Ashley Tenczar Curran (Activist) - “This is better than any Boston newspaper I've read!”

  • David Eddie (Research Scientist: Recovery Research Institute) - “It’s so important we have reporters like you that can connect a broader audience to the work being done in clinical science.”

  • William Cordero (Activist) - “Dakota writes straight to the root of the problem…[He’s] someone not bought by big money.”

  • Domingos DaRosa (Community organizer, Boston City Council Candidate) - “Love this!”

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About Dakota…

I’m a freelance reporter splitting my time between Central Massachusetts and Downtown Boston.

I’ve been published in multiple publications including the Community Advocate, the Hopkinton Independent, the Worcester Telegram, the Let Grow Blog and several others.

This is a unique journalism project the likes of which I’ve never undertaken before. Please reach out with any questions, comments or concerns. I want your feedback!

Contact me!