The Council on Chemical Abuse recently allocated $342,898 to various programs and services in Berks County aimed at helping in the prevention, treatment and recovery of substance use disorder. The COCA Board of Directors approved the allocations during their September board meeting, using monies from the Berks County Opioid Settlement Fund.
The Berks Opioid Settlement Funds are in place to address detrimental effects of the opioid/overdose crisis in Berks County and to help protect the community from such negative effects in the future. These funds will be used to provide services related to Opioid Use Disorders and any co-occurring substance use disorder and Mental Health conditions to all communities and residents in Berks County with respect, dignity and equity while supporting culturally appropriate services and programs.
Below are the projects funded in September through Berks Opioid Settlement Funds:
Contingency Management: A comprehensive training program to prepare Berks Counseling Center for Contingency Management and Harm Reduction for individuals with opioid use disorder.
The Bridge Device: The use of an FDA Authorized medical device known as the Masimo Bridge™ Device, which increases successful completion of withdrawal from opioids and the successful transition from illicit opioid use to a prescribed and medically managed Medication Assisted Treatment program.
Equine Therapy: The establishment of an Equine Therapy program at Bethany Christian Services of Central Pennsylvania for pregnant and post-partum women.
Medical Fellow Program: Provide support for the Medical Fellow program at Caron Treatment Center to expand the number of community physicians who are skilled in addiction medicine.
Youth and Professional Education Program: This education program, provided by the Caron Treatment Center, targets school-aged youth (5-19) impacted by a loved one’s substance use disorder, as well as the child-serving professionals who support them.
Student Athlete Education Program: Targeted education, provided by Caron Treatment Center, on the increased risk student athletes face related to substance use, including concerns regarding injury and opiate use.
Project Peace Youth Coalition: The Project PEACE Youth Coalition offered by the Community Prevention Partnership of Berks County provides structured mentoring and leadership opportunities for youth in the Reading School District Middle and High Schools. This program has been operating for 10 years under a federal grant which will expire on September 30, 2023.
Recovery House Recovery Support Services: GoodKnight the Club House will establish Certified Recovery Specialist services for individuals residing at their recovery house.
Peer2Peer and Family2Family Education and Support: Peer-to-Peer and Family-to-Family education support groups, offered by the Berks County Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), for individuals and families suffering from a co-occurring OUD and mental health conditions.
Youth Leadership Council Awareness/Recruitment Event: The Youth Leadership Council uses innovative prevention programs, peer support, and advocacy, to empower youth to make informed decisions about substance use.
For a more complete list of projects and more detailed information on funds, visit cocaberks.org Opioid Settlement Funds page.
Berks County receives a specified amount of funds annually from Pennsylvania’s allotment of the National Opioid Settlement. The Berks County Commissioners authorized COCA to manage and distribute the funds locally in accordance with the National Opioid Settlement. COCA has served as the Single County Authority for substance use prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery services for Berks County since 1972.