Brien Center’s Patrick Miller Program receives $75,000 grant from the Josephine and Louise Crane Foundation

The Josephine and Louise Crane Foundation has once again awarded the Brien Center for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services a $75,000 grant to continue expanding its acclaimed drug education and prevention program for Berkshire County youth.

This is the fifth consecutive year that the foundation has provided critical resources to the Brien Center’s Patrick Miller Youth Substance Use Prevention and intervention Program, which serves 2,180 youth in school districts throughout the community.

Among its many services, the program features staff trained in mental health and addiction treatment who also specialize in adolescents. They meet youth in need of their care where they are, rather than in more traditional clinical settings. And that’s one of the elements of its success, said M. Christine Macbeth, ACSW, LICSW, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Brien Center.

“Studies conclude that youth at the beginning of their addiction cycles are resistant to attending clinic services and are very unlikely to seek them out,” she said. “This why it’s so important for Brien staff to be present in schools, the community, and even in families’ homes. We are very grateful that the Josephine and Louise Foundation helps provide us with the resources to offer these critical services.”

According to James Mucia, Director of Child and Adolescent Services at the Brien Center, “the best way to end addiction is to never start. That’s our guiding principle when it comes to prevention and intervention in school-based programming. Our program is designed to work with youth before they use drugs for the first time, or after the first use and before serious problems develop.”

The Brien Center’s Patrick Miller Youth Substance Use Prevention and Intervention Program has been recognized for its innovation and positive results, and has been used as a model for developing similar programming throughout the state. While recent county-wide surveys are reporting more encouraging statistics around illegal drug use among youth, an alarming new trend in electronic cigarettes is exploding in that same age group, Mucia said.

“This is relatively new for our community, catching most school officials and substance use specialists by surprise, both locally and nationally,” he continued. “We have adapted the prevention and interventions used in the Patrick Miller Substance Abuse Program to address this growing issue.”

Mucia said that grants like the one received from the Josephine and Louise Crane Foundation enables the Brien Center to scale up its innovative programs to address evolving issues.

The Patrick Miller Program 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. Success is measured by a reduction in use or delay of first use of substances by youth who participate in the program.


The Brien Center is a community-based, non-profit agency providing behavioral health and addiction treatment services throughout Berkshire County. As the county’s largest provider of services, The Brien Center serves about 10,000 children, teens, and adults each year. For more information visit,