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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! www.boapc.org
Re-Invigorating the Central Country Prevention Workgroup (formerly known as the RX/Heroin Workgroup)
 
BOAPC is currently partnering with the 3 other western Massachusetts counties (Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden) on a grant that has established the Young Adult Empowerment Collaborative of Western Mass (YAEC). YAEC was created to enhance and strengthen existing efforts to impact youth to ameliorate the increased risk of opioid misuse. The YAEC grant specifically targets young adults, ages 16-24. As part of this grant, we are re-invigorating the Central Country Prevention (formerly known as the RX/Heroin Workgroup). 
 
If you are interested in joining the workgroup, becoming a partner, or have a young adult in your life that would like to be involved, please fill out this survey monkey to see what days/times work best, what topics you would like to see covered, and what the pressing issues are.The meetings would be once a month with the kick-off meeting being in September.
Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MDD99PV
 
Please email ekirby@berkshireplanning.org with any questions.

Building Resilient Systems: Tools for Direct Care Staff

 

In this module we will examine the role which direct care staff play in creating a culture of safety in the residential program setting. Particular attention will be given to understandings of boundaries and ethics, the implementation of trauma-informed care, and importance of skills to empower program residents.

Objectives

At the end of this module participants will be able to:

  1. Discuss possible causes of crisis-driven behavior within the residential setting and its impact on staff and resident behavior
  2. Discuss boundaries and ethics for direct care staff in the residential setting and tools to assess staff behavior and decision making
  3. Describe internal working models and their impact on staff and resident behavior
  4. Describe nurturing vs punitive responses and the application of skills to empower residents
Recording of the District Attorney’s Office and the Berkshire Opioid Addiction Prevention Collaborative panel discussion on public health solutions to substance use
Great Barrington Board of Health Approves Syringe Access
 
On August 6th, the Great Barrington Board of Health voted to permit a syringe access program to operate within the Town of Great Barrington. BOAPC and collaborators, with help from a HRSA Rural Communities Opioid Response Program planning grant, worked together with the Town to educate and share information regarding harm reduction and syringe access programs with community members and elected officials, in order to build community momentum and will to support the establishment of these essential resources. Research consistently demonstrates the effectiveness of syringe access in preventing transmission of infectious disease and skin and soft tissue infections, while also supporting the overall health and well-being of drug users through linkages to drug treatment, medical care, housing, overdose prevention and other vital social services. You can learn more about syringe access programs here: https://harmreduction.org/issues/syringe-access/tools-best-practices/fact-sheets-syringe-access/. Over the next year, the Town will work with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Bureau of Infectious Disease and laboratory Science (BIDLS), to contract with a provider agency and establish a site for these services. Congratulations to everyone on their hard work and securing these services!

Seeing an underserved community, nonprofit group opens drug treatment center in former bar

By: Terry Cowgill 

"Spectrum Health Systems, a Worcester-based nonprofit organization, last month opened an outpatient facility in Great Barrington in response to strong demand for treatment in southern Berkshire County. Ironically, the new addiction treatment center is located in a former bar and grill that hosted pool and dart tournaments."
 

*Free Training*
Building Resilient Systems: Tools for Direct Care Staff

In this module we will examine the role which direct care staff play in creating a culture of safety in the residential program setting. Particular attention will be given to understandings of boundaries and ethics, the implementation of trauma-informed care, and importance of skills to empower program residents.

Objectives

At the end of this module participant will be able to:

  1. Discuss possible causes of crisis-driven behavior within the residential setting and its impact on staff and resident behavior
  2. Discuss boundaries and ethics for direct care staff in the residential setting and tools to assess staff behavior and decision making
  3. Describe internal working models and their impact on staff and resident behavior
  4. Describe nurturing vs punitive responses and the application of skills to empower residents

New COVID-19 Data Dashboard For Western MA

"The pandemic has made it difficult to make decisions about returning to school, visiting loved ones, traveling within the state, and more. We've compiled the most recent Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) COVID-19 county data for Western Massachusetts and presented it in a way that strives to be easily accessible with the hopes that this will help inform some of the decisions you may be grappling with. When you visit our Western MA COVID-19 County Data Dashboard, you will see COVID-19 data for each county in Western MA (like the image shown below) as well as MA overall. In addition, you will find the MDPH's interactive community COVID-19 map showing the most recent data on level of risk by community."
 

Opioid deaths are surging in the pandemic. Here’s how treatment is adapting

By Zoe Rohrich

"Looking out of her office window, Sally Thoren, an administrator at an addiction treatment center in Chicago, can see what’s known as the “heroin highway,” a major expressway along which runs an illegal drug market. To Thoren, it’s a constant reminder that the opioid crisis never lets up, even during a global pandemic."
 
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 Recovery Coach Training Update

The Bureau of Substance Addiction Services (BSAS)/AdCare Educational Institute has suspended our in-person recovery trainings in Massachusetts due to COVID-19, until the new year 2021. A temporary arrangement has been made with CCAR (Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery) to provide the following online Recovery Coach trainings to Massachusetts residents that apply through BSAS/AdCare:

     • Recovery Coach Academy 5-day training
     • Ethical Considerations for Recovery Coaches 2 ½ day training

CCAR (Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery) is offering Massachusetts residents a temporary 50% discount until our virtual recovery coach trainings are available.

The CCAR (Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery) Recovery Coach Academy registration fee is $850 per person and when the participant applies through BSAS/AdCare, it will cost $425.

The CCAR (Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery) Ethical Considerations for Recovery Coaches fee is $300 per person and when the participant attends through BSAS/AdCare it will cost $150.

Below are the links for the Recovery Coach Academy Application and Ethical Considerations for Recovery Coaches registration: 

Recovery Coach Academy Application; October 5th - 9th, 2020
Application Deadline: Monday, September 21, 2020

Recovery Coach Academy Application; November 30th - December 4th, 2020
Application Deadline: Monday, November 16, 2020

Ethical Considerations for Recovery Coaches Registration; October 19th - 21st, 2020
Registration  Deadline: Monday, October 12, 2020

Ethical Considerations for Recovery Coaches Registration; December 7th - 9th, 2020
Registration Deadline: Monday, November 30, 2020

The Bureau of Substance Addiction Services is supporting the development of a quality peer support workforce in Massachusetts.
BRPC + BOAPC Actively Seeking Persons with Lived Experience to Inform a HIV/Blood-Borne Pathogen Response Plan for Berkshire County

The Public Health Program at Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) and the Berkshire Opioid Addiction Prevention Collaborative (BOAPC) are working on a project that will develop a community response plan for Berkshire County that would provide a framework to respond to an HIV or other bloodborne pathogen outbreak at the local level.

The proposed project team will work with the existing emergency preparedness coalition and newly-engaged community partners, including people living with HIV (PLWH) and those who are actively working with injection drug users (IDU), to do a series of community workshops, design a blood-borne pathogen (HIV) community response plan, and to conduct a table top exercise (TTX) test for that plan.

We are actively seeking those with lived experience to better inform our community process and our community response plan. If you are a person living with HIV, or have lived experience regarding HIV or injection drug use, this project and your community would benefit from your knowledge and expertise. There are many ways to be involved – you can choose what best fits your comfort and knowledge levels. Stipends are available for your valuable contribution to this project.

Please reach out to Jennifer Kimball for more information at jkimball@berkshireplanning.org.
"NEAETC invites you to join us for the first webinar in a series focusing on the intersection of treating substance use, HIV, and hepatitis C, as well as how to use proven clinical and social strategies to improve quality of life. We will bring together experts across the state for a panel-style discussion on best practices and overcoming challenges when addressing these unique epidemics."
 
The Brien Center update: COVID-19 Response
This message is current as of the afternoon of Thursday, August 13, 2020.
 
Agency Response: The Brien Center has formed a COVID-19 response team comprising of Brien leadership and medical staff. We are meeting weekly and as needed to respond to staffing, clinical and programmatic needs as they unfold. Our work is guided by our Continuity of Operations Plan, and the Department of Public Health, Department of Mental Health, and Executive Office of Health and Human Services regulations that we operate under. Managers are also attending state-wide meetings with our funding and licensing bodies to ensure an informed and coordinated response to the pandemic.
 
How to use Naloxone 
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 boapc@berkshireplanning.org.

This program in funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Bureau of Substance Addiction Services.
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Our mailing address is:
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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