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Berks County is confronting an addiction epidemic.

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

1 Your Role
I want to learn about treatment options for:

2 Basic Information
The Person is:
years old

graduated high school

3 Condition Information
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 Hope DiplayBerks 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.

In response to this public health threat, local addiction experts and community leaders formed Berks HOPE (Helping Others/Providing Expertise), a consortium dedicated to making addiction intervention, treatment and recovery resources more easily accessible to those who need them.

Take the First Step on the Road to Recovery
About Berks HOPE
What is Berks HOPE

Addiction continues to be an epidemic in Berks County and nationwide. Resources for addiction treatment and long-term recovery are available, but many who need them do not know where or how seek treatment and support.  Berks HOPE (Helping Others/Providing Expertise) is dedicated to making these resources more accessible to those who need them, helping them to achieve long-term recovery.

What organizations are involved in Berks HOPE?

Berks HOPE members include:

How will Berks HOPE address the issues?

The Berks HOPE consortium has held a series of public forums, which were attended by members of the community and addiction industry. The consortium plans to address the needs of the community through additional public events in Berks and possibly the surrounding communities.

Upcoming Events in Berks County
Addiction Resources

Reading Eagle, February 23, 2017 Misery mixed with hope on Alvernia Stage

Reading Eagle, February 20, 2017 – One-woman play on addiction and recovery to be performed at Alvernia University in Reading, February 15, 2017 COCA Drug and Alcohol Update with Yvonne Stroman and guests Kris Bashore, Dr. William Santoro and Rick Wolf

WFMZ Channel 69 News, April 13, 2016 Forum provides information about drug addiction, treatment

WFMZ Special Video Report by Chandi LowryHooked on Heroin: Chasing the High

Reading Eagle, April 14, 2016Forum in Reading Focuses on Heroin Epidemic

Reading Eagle, January 24, 2016 – Editorial – Positive Message Welcome in Discussion of Heroin Crisis

Reading Eagle, January 20, 2016 – Hundreds Hear Message of Hope at Forum on Heroin in Berks County

WFMZ Video, January 19, 2016 – Berks Comes Together to Battle Opiate Addiction

Reading Eagle, January 19, 2016 – Letter to the Editor – There Is Hope for Those Addicted

Released January 13, 2016 – January 13, 2015 Press Release

Reading Eagle, January 5, 2016 – Forum on Heroin Epidemic set for Jan. 19 in Lower Heidelberg Township

Reading Eagle, January 3, 2016 – Heroin Related Deaths Were 'Still Rampant' During 2015

Recent Berks HOPE 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.