The City of Pittsfield, Massachusetts met with the state’s Department of Public Health Commissioner last Friday to discuss the city’s newly planned needle exchange program.
Gina Armstrong, the director of Pittsfield’s Health Department, says they want to find treatment and educational options to help fight the region’s opioid crisis.
She says the region also is seeing an increase of Hepatitis viruses that are spread through injected drug use.
“These programs are really critical at this time because not only do they help to reduce disease transmission through the sharing of needles through injected drug use but also they facilitate access drug treatment services,” Armstrong says.
According to the state’s most recent data from 2015, 32 people died from opioid overdoses in Berkshire County -- 17 from Pittsfield.