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The mission of the Berkshire Opioid Addiction Prevention Collaborative is to implement local policy, practice, systems, and/or environmental changes to prevent the misuse of opioids and to prevent and reduce deaths and poisonings associated with opioids. 

Don't forget to check out our website!
BOAPC Would Like to Thank
Representative Paul Mark
Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier
Representative John Barrett III
Representative William “Smitty” Pignatelli
Senator Adams Hinds
For their support of the BOAPC line item in the FY21 Legislative Budget

Overdose Survivors’ Top Priorities Are Basic Needs, Research Shows

"A new study elevating the voices of opioid users who survived an overdose found that emergency department (ED) healthcare workers can best support the overdose patients by utilizing a patient-centered, non-judgmental approach, and by focusing on meeting their basic needs rather than on substance use treatment (SUD).

The study, published on December 21 in the journal Academic Emergency Medicine, aimed to close the “knowledge gap” of how the ED can meet patients’ needs following an overdose from heroin (or at least what they had believed to be heroin). From June 2016 to August 2017, the researchers interviewed 24 ED patients immediately following an opioid overdose. "

To continue reading:

Pittsfield Public Health Committee Informed on Opioid Use Disorder
By Brittany Polito

"The Committee on Public Health and Safety last week unanimously agreed that more needs to be done for opioid use disorder, or OUD, in Pittsfield after a presentation on the topic.
"It bothers me in this day and age, why we don't have a larger resource of avenues for individuals. I don't know if that comes from lack of funding from the Commonwealth or if it comes from lack of funding from the federal government," Ward 7 City Councilor Anthony Maffuccio said at Thursday's meeting. "We have a serious problem, and people just don't want to talk about it and they think it is just going to go away miraculously one day."
Responding to Ward 1 Councilor Helen Moon's petition that requested a presentation on opioid use,  Jennifer Kimball, coordinator of Berkshire Opioid Abuse Prevention Collaborative, informed the City Council subcommittee about the city's current issues with OUD."

‘Relapsing Left and Right’: Trying to Overcome Addiction in a Pandemic

Substance-abuse centers are shutting and relying on virtual programming, just as more and more people turn to drugs and alcohol.

"Jackie Ré, who runs a substance-use disorder facility in New Jersey, gathered the 12 female residents of her center in the living room on March 27 and told them that the coronavirus outbreak had forced the center to limit contact with the outside world.

There was an immediate outcry: The women already felt disconnected and didn’t want their sense of isolation exacerbated, Ms. Ré said.

Within the next six months, nine left the program at Haley House in Blairstown against staff advice, and all but one relapsed.

“It’s been a nightmare,” Ms. Ré said. “For one woman it was a matter of days, another less than a week. I’ve never seen anything like it.”"

To continue reading:

New Emergency Services Program Flyers Available 
Click here for the English or Spanish Version
Report: Opioid industry paid $65 million to advocacy groups

"A bipartisan congressional investigation released Wednesday found that key players in the nation’s opioid industry have spent $65 million since 1997 funding nonprofits that advocate treating pain with medications, a strategy intended to boost the sale of prescription painkillers.

The report from Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Ron Wyden of Oregon found that the contributions continued in recent years, even as the industry’s practices and the toll of opioid addiction came under greater scrutiny."

To continue reading:

The Deadliest Year In the History of U.S. Drug Use

"While over 300,000 Americans and counting have died from COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, another public-health disaster is taking more lives than ever before: drug overdoses.

Overdose deaths in 2019 were significantly higher than 2018, jumping from 67,367 deaths in 2018 to 70,630 overdose deaths in 2019, marking a nearly 5 percent increase, according to a new report issued Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If that’s not grim enough, a separate health alert published by the CDC this week reports a “concerning acceleration” in overdose deaths for 2020, which provisional data show is on track to be the deadliest year for U.S. drug overdose deaths in recorded history. Complete data for 2020 is not expected to be available until some time next year."

To continue reading: 

As a physician and a patient, I’ve seen the damage caused by the stigma of addiction. It must end

"Although the disease of addiction is now obscured by the dark cloud of the Covid-19 pandemic, it continues to tear America apart. It’s a relentless killer, fed by anxiety and uncertainty, and enabled by the attitudes of the health care providers who are supposed to be caring for people with it.

I led two lives for more than a decade: I worked as a physician, caring for the sick and suffering. I also struggled with addiction, using cocaine and other drugs to manage post-traumatic stress — a consequence of surviving the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. I loved my work, but the drugs kept me alive, managed my pain, and allowed me to function.

This duality showed me how people with mental illness and substance use disorders are treated by my colleagues in the health care system. I saw their judgements and their scorn, and I saw how U.S. drug policy was harming people right before my eyes."

To continue reading:

Food Pantries and Meal Sites in Berkshire County

(Since program hours and days can change without notice, please call the location to be sure of times and requirements) Updated January 4, 2021.
Please find a list of Food Pantries and Meal Sites here
In this volume of MHVI
Covid-19 Resource Digest:

Information for supporting families during the Covid-19 pandemic, other news towards Racial Justice, more news for maternal and child health professionals, distance learning and open meeting opportunities, reminders of select past posts with updated resources, and an expanded listing of Racial Justice compendiums.
To access the full list: click here
For more information about the Berkshire Opioid Addiction Prevention Collaborative, its partners, or to obtain a complete list of BOAPC activities and events, please contact

This program in funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Bureau of Substance Addiction Services.
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1 Fenn St #201, Pittsfield, MA 01201

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Berkshire Regional Planning Commission · 1 Fenn St Ste 201 · Pittsfield, MA 01201-6278 · USA

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