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News Briefs: Opioid addiction support group to meet at Berkshire South

"As we all know, there is a major epidemic of drug use in our area, everything from opioids, alcohol to heroin and more. This issue is affecting us all whether we realize it or not." --- Jenise Lucey, executive director, Berkshire South Regional Community Center

Berkshire South to host sessions on opioid addiction

Great Barrington – Jenise Lucey, executive director of Berkshire South Community Center, has announced that a weekly meeting of those concerned about the epidemic of opioid addiction will begin Tuesday, March 15, at 6:45 p.m. in the auditorium.

The sessions derive from the work of Jennifer Wheeler, a recovering heroin addict, who started a Facebook group, D.O.P.E. (Discussing Our Personal Experiences), as a way of calling attention to the plague of addiction and of providing a support community for those struggling with addiction.

D.O.P.E began as a Facebook group in December 2015 with the intention of creating a dialog about addiction within the Berkshire community. Wheeler herself is recovering from a heroin addiction and believes that inclusivity will promote positive solutions for people on the path to recovery. The group now boasts more than 500 members and includes among its numbers families, friends, teachers, doctors, politicians, police officials, therapists, and people who don’t understand addiction and want to learn more in addition to those struggling with addiction.

Wheeler has written about her experiences in the Berkshire Edge and hopes to foster a safe space and a clearer recognition of addiction and recovery.

“As we all know, there is a major epidemic of drug use in our area, everything from opioids, alcohol to heroin and more.  This issue is affecting us all whether we realize it or not, whether it has impacted you directly… yet,” Lucey observed. “As we understand our mission through the changing lens of our community, the strength that is derived from connecting to one another takes on different meanings, but always steers us to the same result; together we are better.  I hope that through our work, we can make a difference each day and I am excited about this new opportunity to bring hope and strength to an important community issue that truly impacts us all.”

For information on these sessions, contact Berkshire South Regional Community Center: 413-528-2810 ext. 14, or online: www.berkshiresouth.org. Berkshire South is located at 15 Crissey Rd.

 

–E.E.

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