"Voices for Recovery: Building a Recovery Community" is the second locally produced documentary that addresses the opioid crisis in North County. Produced by local videographer Joe Aidonidis, it is the sequel to last year's "Faces: Five Voices from One Community," which focused on personal stories around addiction and recovery.
Northern Berkshire has been knitting together a wide array of agencies and organizations to combat an opioid epidemic that's devastated communities. Its leaders, including Mayor Richard Alcombright, have played a prominent role in working groups both regionally and statewide addressing addiction and recovery.
The Northern Berkshire Community Coalition sponsored a screening of “Faces: Five Voices from One Community – Addiction and Recovery in North Berkshire” by local videographer Joe Aidonidis at the theater in place of its usual monthly forum in the First Baptist Church.
Naloxone is an opioid overdose reversal drug that can be administered to someone experiencing an overdose from heroin or prescription opioid pain medication. Those who attend the training will learn to identify the signs of an overdose, determine if an overdose victim needs rescue breathing or CPR, perform rescue breathing and CPR, administer naloxone, and how to obtain low cost or no cost naloxone.
City officials are looking into whether a needle exchange program will help halt the spread of infectious diseases.
In the face of a heroin epidemic, a needle exchange program is one way to help users avoid spreading diseases - particularly Hepatitis C. Syringe Access Program Director for Tapestry Liz Whynott says her organization currently runs two programs in Western Massachusetts - one in Holyoke and one in Northampton - and provides a way for users of injected drugs to have access to clea
Throughout Berkshire County 105 people went to the hospital after overdosing.
That's on pace for more than 300 in a year. Last year there were 158, a sharp increase from the average of 40 to 60 in 2011 through 2013. There was 36 deaths in 2015 from overdose and so from in Pittsfield alone there have been nine. A total of 36 out of 800 babies born this year have been exposed to opioids while in utero.
The showing in the Koussevitzky Arts Center is free and open to the public. The event begins at 5 p.m. with brief remarks; a panel discussion about current efforts to reduce the drug problem in Berkshire County will follow the 77-minute film. It is expected to conclude by 7:45 p.m.
Those who attend the training will learn to identify the signs of an overdose, to assess if an overdose victim needs rescue breathing or CPR, to perform rescue breathing and CPR, to administer naloxone, and how to obtain low cost or no cost naloxone.