North Adams City Council to take up resolution on inpatient detox


NORTH ADAMS — After a weekslong vetting process, the City Council is slated to vote on a resolution that implores Berkshire Health Systems and state legislators to provide inpatient detox treatment in North Adams.

The North County Cares Coalition, which was formed by concerned residents after North Adams Regional Hospital closed in 2014, introduced a resolution to council earlier this year that would call for expanded addiction treatment in the Northern Berkshires.

The non-binding proposal will be discussed Tuesday by the full City Council.

In its campaign for the additional services at the North Adams Campus of Berkshire Medical Center, the coalition cited Department of Public Health data that indicates the number of people seeking treatment for opioid addiction in North Adams has increased by 356 percent between 2005 and 2014.

The resolution was deferred by the council in May to its Public Safety Committee, which held a public hearing on June 6. The committee heard testimony from a wide variety of public safety officials and residents, who appeared largely in support of the effort.

The committee members did not take a vote on the proposal, instead waiting to see if the resolution would be amended before returning the full council.

The resolution included in the City Council agenda this week states "Berkshire Health Systems and state officials to respond to the urgent healthcare needs of North Adams and North County residents and open inpatient detox treatment and inpatient crisis stabilization at the North Adams campus."

Berkshire Health Systems, parent company of Berkshire Medical Center, currently operated the 21-bed McGee Unit in Pittsfield that provides inpatient detox treatment. It also recently received state approval to operate a 30 bed clinical stabilization services unit in Pittsfield.

Though there are outpatient addiction treatment services in North Adams run by Berkshire Health Systems and other providers, there are no inpatient detox or clinical stabilization services in the city.

Contact Adam Shanks at 413-496-6376.


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