The South County Opioid Working Group announces it has brought a HRSA Rural Communities Opioid Response Program grant to South County! The three year grant funds a peer-support recovery center in South County, will expand access to services, and help to increase prevention capacity over the next three years.

Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP) funds multi-sector consortia to enhance their ability to implement and sustain substance use disorder/opioid use disorder (SUD/OUD) prevention, treatment, and recovery services in underserved rural areas.

The South Berkshire Opioid Consortium consists of funded partners; The Brien Center, Berkshire Community College, Fairview Hospital, and the Railroad Street Youth Project.

Unfunded consortium partners include; among many others, Tapestry Health, Healthy Steps, Berkshire County District Attorney’s Office, Volunteers in Medicine, Southern Berkshire Community Health Coalition, Family Resource Center, Health Resources In Action, Great Barrington Health Department, Centers for Motivation and Change, Community Health Programs, Great Barrington Police Department, Southern Berkshire Volunteer Ambulance.

Rural Recovery Resources will work toward reducing many of the effects associated with substance use and overdoses in high-risk rural communities of South Berkshire County by:

(1) Creating an integrated network of providers to facilitate access to a coordinated continuum of SUD/OUD prevention, treatment, and recovery services.

(2) Promoting overdose prevention efforts linking those with SUD/OUD in primary care systems to needed medical assisted treatment, substance use and mental health counseling services.

(3) Building a recovery community by providing adequate social supportive services to access needed prevention, treatment, and recovery services.

(4) Increasing the capacity of medical and ancillary providers through training programs.

(5) Increasing awareness and understanding of SUD/OUD through community education programs for youth and young adults.

(6) Promoting program sustainability by developing and implementing financial reimbursement models.

RRR is building a strong recovery community that will serve as a safety net for the most vulnerable members of our county, supporting them on their personal recovery path and developing resources in our community to reduce the incidence of SUD/OUD.

The Nation is in the midst of an unprecedented opioid epidemic. More than 130 people a day die from opioid-related drug overdoses.

Prevention and access to treatment for opioid addiction and overdose reversal drugs are critical to fighting this epidemic. Primary care settings have increasingly become a gateway to better care for individuals with both behavioral health (including substance use) and primary care needs.

“I couldn’t have been more pleased to hear that the HRSA Grant request for opioid related health services was fully funded. The opioid crisis is one that lurks in the shadows of our community but is certainly pervasive throughout. The grant award is a testament to the tireless commitment of a few to serve everyone affected by the opioid epidemic in our region. With the available funds, a local recovery center is now on the horizon and I personally feel tremendous hope to witness such progress in maximizing the health for all in our community.” states Rebecca Jurczyk, Health Agent for the town of Great Barrington.

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) support its grantees with resources, technical assistance, and training to integrate behavioral health care services into practice settings and communities.

The Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP) is a multi-year initiative supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to address barriers to access in rural communities related to substance use disorder (SUD), including opioid use disorder (OUD).

“With this grant funding a recovery center, South County will finally be provided an extremely valuable asset. We all know that connection fuels recovery; not only for the individual but for the community as a whole. HRSA and the tireless advocacy of the South Berkshire Opioid Working Group have made it possible for us to move forward in our mission. This grant will save lives.” states Rural Recovery Resources Project Manager, Gary Pratt.

When fully operational, the South County Recovery Center will employ a full time program director, a full time data coordinator/assistant, a full time recovery coach, and part time co-responder. The center will provide peer-support, education, referrals, prevention activities, meeting space, and other recovery support services.

For more information you can contact Rural Recovery Resources Project Manager Gary Pratt at

(above information taken from a press release that was sent to WSBS from Gary Pratt for online and on air use) 

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