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Berks County is confronting an addiction epidemic.

With the right interventions, family support and treatment, addiction can be overcome.

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Caron Treatment Centers accepts patients aged 13 years or older. For more information on services available to those 12 and under, please learn more about Caron's Student Assistance Program.

Berks HOPEBerks County is facing an addiction epidemic. Deaths as a result of a heroin overdose tripled from 2010 to 2014 and the total drug-related overdoses continue to rise. This isn’t a city vs. suburb problem. This problem isn’t limited by gender, age or ethnicity.

2015 Berks County Data - Source: Berks County Medical Society

  • Total drug-related overdose (OD) deaths: 75 (up from 62 in 2014)
  • Percent of decedents female: 39% (up from 29% in 2014)
  • Racial breakdown of decedents: 79% White, 19% Hispanic (and 1 Black and 1 Hispanic/White)
  • Age breakdown: 0-17 (1); 18-30 (18); 31-45 (22); 46-60 (29); 61+ (5).
  • In the 18-30 y.o. group, heroin was the drug present most often, with only 3 instances of prescription drugs. In the 46-60 y.o. group prescription drugs were found in 17 instances. In many of the cases involving prescription drugs, the decedent had a valid prescription.
  • All 5 deaths in those 61 years and older involved prescription medications.
  • Manner of death is listed as ‘Accident’ for all but 2 cases of suicide, 7 undetermined, and the 7 pending cases.
  • Place of death was ‘Own Residence’ in 2/3 of cases.
  • Deaths occurred in 21 Berks County townships and boroughs, in addition to the City of Reading. The city was the site of 32 deaths, with West Reading/RH next with 12 deaths and then Bern Township/SJMC with 6. Between 1 and 3 overdose deaths occurred in the remaining localities.

Take the First Step on the Road to Recovery
Addiction Resources in Berks County
Upcoming Events in Berks County
Community Forum Video Excerpts

In 2015, a number of local addiction experts and community leaders began working together to form Berks HOPE (Helping Others/Providing Expertise); a coalition dedicated to making addiction recovery resources more accessible and helping members of our community achieve long-term recovery. These agencies included:

Caron Treatment Centers, Treatment Access Services Center Inc. (TASC), The Council on Chemical Abuse (COCA), Reading Health System, Easy Does It (EDI), Common Ground Recovery Ministry, Berks County District Attorney’s Office, Rick Wolf - Education Leader and Retired Assistant Superintendent of Governor Mifflin School District, Berks County Medical Society, Reading School District 

    In December of 2018, the members of Berks HOPE opted to combine their efforts with the work being done by SOS Berks. Additional information about ongoing outreach from SOS Berk is available here: www.councilonchemicalabuse.org/sosberks.

    Over the course of the 3 years a number of community events and public forms were held for the Berks and surrounding communities. Below are video excerpts from these events.

    High with Hope in Berks – February 22, 2017


     

    Roadmap..Addiction Treatment and Resources – April 13, 2016

    Download the Presentation

    View the program and panel discussion


    Finding Hope and Healing in the Berks Heroin Epidemic - January 19, 2016

    Download the Presentation

    View the January 19, 2016 Finding Hope and Healing Speaker Presentations



     Clips from Finding Hope and Healing in the Berks Heroin Epidemic - January 19, 2016

     
    Doug Tieman, CEO and President, Caron Treatment Centers
     
    Dr. Rachel Levine, PA Physician General

     
    Yvonne Stroman, Council on Chemical Abuse
     
    Dave Rotenberg, Caron Treatment Centers

     
    Pete and Michelle Gettel

     

    Visit our YouTube page to view  additional speaker presentations.