LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The Board of Health voted to join a pilot program through Berkshire Medical Center that would add Mobile Harm Reduction Services to the town.
The board signed a letter to the state Bureau of Infections, Disease & Laboratory Sciences. This letter informs the state that the Lanesborough Board of Health voted in favor of having the qualified and appropriate organizations operate a mobile syringe service.
"We look forward to sharing further guidance with the members of the Board of Health as to how MDPH will move to establish a program in Lanesborough as one of the town allowable pilot programs in the Commonwealth," the letter said.
Berkshire Harm Reduction presented during the last meeting, Tuesday, April 5, to demonstrate the advantages of having programs that they offered in the town including their Syringe Service Program, overdose education and naloxone distribution, education and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, and many more.
This program is supported by the state Department of Public Health. The board was prepared to approve the program during the last meeting but were concerned that town counsel would not accept the decision because it was too vague on the agenda item.
BOH Chairman Lawrence Spatz said, "I guess, in some instances, it can be controversial. The harm reduction approach has been at times controversial. We'll see what happens.”
The program would provide convenience, safety, and education to the town through the town in an effort to reach areas where transportation may be challenging.
The Harm Reduction Mobile Unit travels to locations throughout the region for safe syringe exchange, overdose prevention, testing, risk reduction education, basic wound care, and more services.
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