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Award for Expanding Youth Substance Abuse Services

The Brien Center Expands Youth Substance Abuse Services with Receipt of $100K Grant Award

New investment from the Josephine and Louise Crane Foundation will support Substance Abuse Education, Prevention and Treatment

(PITTSFIELD) February 1, 2016 – The Brien Center for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services announced today that it has been awarded one hundred thousand dollars from the Josephine and Louise Crane Foundation for youth substance abuse education and prevention services. The Agency works closely with local school systems throughout the county to supports youth with counseling services and deliver prevention education.

“This grant will enable us to expand the delivery of prevention education services to youth in our community,” said Christine Macbeth, CEO of the Brien Center. “Given the seriousness of the current opioid epidemic in the Massachusetts, treatment is often the focus.  This grant allows us to work on the preventative measures that will reduce the number of youth and young adults falling into substance dependency.”

The grant will specifically fund increased staffing for the Brien Center’s Patrick Miller Youth Substance Abuse Program. The program includes a number of projects that support youth substance abuse treatment and prevention including school-based prevention programs, school-based counseling, parent education programs, and community education.

“Currently we serve over 4,000 children and youth at the Brien Center,” said James Mucia, LICSW, Director of Child and Adolescent Services. “As addiction problems continue to increase, this grant will allow our staff to be prepared for working with youth and their families to beat addiction issues.  We will also be able to work with schools, communities, and families to tackle the issue of substance abuse before it becomes a problem.

The Patrick Miller Youth Substance Abuse Program is a highly acclaimed community-based program which provides education, prevention, intervention, screening and outpatient services to address substance use and abuse among Berkshire County youth. For youth with substance use disorders, The Brien Center’s treatment team provides comprehensive assessment, individual and group counseling, and intensive addiction treatment. Staff includes a psychiatrist and licensed counselors who are trained in both mental health and addiction treatment, with a specialty in adolescents. The success of the program is demonstrated in a documented reduction in adolescent substance use in communities where the program is present.

Originally founded by B. John and Rosaleen Miller of Pittsfield, the Patrick Miller Youth Substance Abuse Program was created in memory of their son, Patrick, who died of an accidental overdose, after a long struggle with addiction.