Service Above Self

We meet Thursdays at 12:10 PM

Crowne Plaza Hotel

or Mazzeo's (see Calendar)
Pittsfield, MA 01201
United States

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Posted by Yuki Cohen on Oct 02, 2014

Dr. Jennifer Michaels, Medical Director, Adult Outpatient Services at the Brien Center, spoke to the club about facing the heroin crisis in the Berkshires.   Dr. Michaels pointed out that we are in the middle of an epidemic in Berkshire County and throughout the country.   In Massachusetts, she pointed to a very sobering statistic that a person is more likely to die from a drug overdose than anything else.  She discussed where the epidemic stemmed from - heroin is an offspring of an earlier epidemic.  Seventeen years ago, there was a pain management directive and oxycontin was introduced as the "safer" alternative than other opiates.  This eventually led to the explosion of pills on the street.  Young people mistakenly thought that prescription pills were safe to take, since it was prescribed by a doctor.  In order to tie this to heroin, Dr. Michaels told a story about one of her patients.  A 21 year old young man, addicted to heroin, came in with his parents to see Dr. Michaels for treatment.  This young man was an athlete who became injured and was prescribed vicodin for pain management of his injury.  He brought the vicodin to share with his friends, and became addicted to the drug.  As addictions go, more and more drug is needed for the same high, and over time, this eventually escalated to the intravenous use of heroin, as it is the cheapest and most potent drug.    Dr. Michaels posed the question on everyone's mind.  Why didn't parents/teachers get involved?  How could they let this happen?  The answer for this particular young man was that he was functional, people were not aware of his addiction and he didn't ask for help due to the stigma attached to heroin addiction.  Dr. Michaels pointed out that back in the day, women died of breast cancer because no one discussed the big CANCER word or talked about breasts.  Drug addiction is facing a similar stigma that was faced by women with breast cancer during those days.  And this stigma kills people.  The 21 year old young man, went off to college and it took two overdoses for him to finally seek treatment of his disease.   This young man, with effective treatment is cured today of his disease (drug addiction is a disease).   Dr. Michaels emphasized that the people addicted to heroin are not "those" people.  These people are us.   And it is extremely costly not to treat this disease, which is highly treatable, but people have to come and seek help (90% who would benefit from treatment do not seek it).   The U.S. leads the world in drug consumption.  We make up 5% of the world's population, however we use 66% of the world's illegal drugs and 80% of legal opiates.  

Posted by David Hall on Aug 04, 2014

Pittsfield Rotary Club raising funds for Advance Placement students

By Jenn Smith, Berkshire Eagle Staff

PITTSFIELD -- The Rotary Club of Pittsfield is teaming up with city high schools to make sure cost is not a barrier for students when it comes to taking and Advance Placement course. The club's also looking for others to support the cause.

Posted by Ronald Latham on Jul 15, 2014

Dave Hall is enthusiastic about the prospects for his presidential year. He wants Pittsfield Rotary to be the service club that leaders want to join,and his goal for the year is twenty new members.  Recognizing that twenty is ambitious, we cannot achieve that without every member pitching in to help with the effort.  An energized Membership Committee (Tom Hamel, John O'Brien, Bart Raser, Matt Scarafoni and Carol Leibinger-Healey) are ready to organize recruitment.  This week President Dave will talk about our Rotary "elevator speech" to get potential members excited about the prospect of Rotary membership.

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