Very interesting article in the Record about how the opioid problem is affecting and being handled in Berkshire County.  As stated in the article’s lead passage, opioid related deaths have skyrocketed in recent years:

Over the past decade, Western Massachusetts has been devastated by a nationwide opioid crisis that has proved especially calamitous for the rural northeast. According to a study published by Brandeis University on Sep. 6, Berkshire County experienced a 48 percent increase in opioid-related deaths between 2017 and 2018, and Western Massachusetts as a whole faced a 73 percent increase.

The article gives some general background on the problem nationally, and then goes into details about treatment and prevention programs in Berkshire County.

I was very impressed by the level of detail and depth of research shown in the article.  The author (Samuel Wolf) clearly spent a great deal of time researching the facts before writing, getting long quotes from a variety of people involved in helping those with opioid related problems, including Susan Cross ’88.  I highly recommend that you read the story.  My only (mild) criticism is that I was hoping there would be a section on the prevalence of opioids at Williams.  I would guess that there is at least some opioid abuse at the College, and it would have added to the story if that information could have been researched and explored a little.

Regardless, this excellent article continues a trend at the Record of very professional looking journalism, on topics as diverse as party-related tensions on Hoxsey Street, and new turf fields at Mt. Greylock HS.  The writers are getting out and talking to people to find things out.  I wonder whether Mr. Wolf, and perhaps others at the Record, are thinking about journalism careers.  The work product they have been putting out speaks very well for the current team.

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