Northern Berkshire Community Coalition seeks to educate parents about substance abuse and its effect on young minds


NORTH ADAMS — In the midst of an opioid abuse crisis locally and throughout the Northeast, many Northern Berkshire community leaders are focusing on preventing the next generation of addicts.

On Nov. 1, a panel discussion titled "Alcohol, Marijuana and Opioids: What Parents Need to Know" will be held at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' Church Street Center, beginning at 6 p.m.

Aimed at illustrating to parents the impact that experimentation with substance — particularly alcohol, marijuana, and opioids — has on the developing brain, the talk will feature Dr. Jennifer Michaels, Medical Director at the Brien Center.

"It's important to think about what parents can do to foster healthy decisions during this critical time period for our youth," Michaels stated in a press release that announced the upcoming event.

Other panelists include North Adams Mayor Richard Alcombright, a vocal proponent for increased substance abuse education, and Wendy Penner, Director of Prevention and Wellness at the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition. Kathryn Wiseman, Pediatrician at Northern Berkshire Pediatrics, Jessica Sweeney, Director of the ROOTS: Northern Berkshire Teen Center and Robert Putnam, Hoosac Valley High School Superintendent, will also be featured on the panel.

The event will be hosted by the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition through its nb21 program that focuses on preventing substance abuse among youth. It is free and open to the public.

Contact Adam Shanks at 413-496-6376


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