Terms like junky, addict, drug abuser, clean versus dirty, carry a negative connotation when it comes to the opioid epidemic.
And that stigma makes it even more challenging to address the nationwide problem, according to Jennifer Michaels, medical director of the Brien Center.
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.
Those 2017 statistics — culled from needs assessment surveys completed by students, hospitals and pediatricians, parents, superintendents and other stakeholders — were presented Monday at the Coalition offices in a news conference that brought many of those stakeholders together to interpret the numbers and discuss new strategies moving forward.
Tapestry's new syringe access program opened in February on West Main Street.
The office is holding an open house for the community from 4 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday to answer questions and show how the program works.
The decision whether or not to authorize the state to fund a needle exchange program in the city should come next week.
The Board of Health is the authority needed to authorize the program and is expected to take up the topic next Wednesday. Tapestry Health is looking to open one through funding from the state Department of Health to combat the spread of infectious diseases, similar to the one opening in North Adams in the coming months.
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.
The Northern Berkshire Community Coalition is sponsoring a forum on marijuana and substance abuse on Tuesday, Nov. 1, at 6 p.m. at Massachusetts college of Liberal Arts' Church Street Center.
The event is free and open to the public; pizza will be served at 5:45 p.m.
Dr. Jennifer Michaels says every patient she sees struggling with serious addiction began by smoking marijuana at a young age.
Michaels, the medical director at the Brien Center, joined District Attorney David Capeless Tuesday in a forum at Berkshire Community College urging a no vote on the referendum to legalize marijuana, which will be on the ballot in November. Michaels outlined her belief that the legalization will lead to more issues with addictions while Capeless said public safety wou
Grown from a walk and vigil based on a national event, this annual rally will include both those things but also provide space for information booths, speakers, music, food vendors and children's activities. The theme is "Our Families, Our Stories, Our Recovery" to acknowledge "that we all have a story to tell and a role to play to support recovery."
The City Council on Tuesday approved 7-1 a citizens' petition calling on Berkshire Health Systems to open inpatient beds for detoxification and substance abuse recovery.
The vote came after more than an hour of discussion and debate and numerous comments from the public, including assertions that the council was dithering over what the community wanted.
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.
That is part of a strategy called "looking upstream," and in the Berkshires right now, the analogy is being used to describe a way to tackle the region's substance abuse problem.
In this case, said Wendy Pender, direction of prevention and wellness at the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, "upstream" is actually the children of today who we hope to prevent from becoming the addicts of tomorrow.
Berkshire Medical Center is taking the first steps in providing local comprehensive after-care for patients struggling with addiction.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has approved the proposal by BMC to create a new 30-bed unit to improve long-term recovery. The Clinical Stabilization Services center will be created on the first floor of the Edward A. Jones Memorial Building, which also contains the the McGee Recovery Center.
The possibility of establishing a new addiction recovery center, modeled after a successful Holyoke program, and potentially sited at the underutilized George B. Crane Memorial Center, was explored at a public forum held at City Hall on Thursday.
During a one-hour presentation attended by about 20 area residents, representatives from the "Hope for Holyoke" Peer Recovery Center described their approach in providing a variety of support services for those struggling with addiction and other iss