- Berkshire District Attorney's Office
Media Contact for Berkshire District Attorney’s Office Cautions Public about Increased Fentanyl in Drug Supply
Andrew McKeever, Director of Communications
BERKSHIRE COUNTY —
The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office advises residents to be cautious about cocaine and other drugs laced with Fentanyl.
The Berkshire County Law Enforcement Task Force and the Berkshire State Police Detective Unit report that it is finding an increased amount of Fentanyl in various drugs that recreational users may not be expecting.
Law Enforcement responding to recent overdoses, both fatal and non-fatal, are discovering through toxicology and drug testing that Fentanyl is present more frequently in cocaine products and drugs purported to be prescription but are not.
The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office reminds people using drugs to be careful with intake, use Fentanyl test strips, and never use alone. The office encourages all residents to learn the signs of overdose and act immediately - call 911, administer naloxone, perform rescue breathing, and stay with the person until help arrives.
The Good Samaritan Law protects those who report overdoses from arrest and prosecution for drug possession.
The Berkshire Overdose Addiction Prevention Collaborative provides the contact information for several local resources providing harm reduction, recovery support, Narcan training and distribution, case management, and youth programming on their website.
The recent findings in Berkshire County are consistent with statewide trends. The Department of Public Health released 2021 data, which showed an 8.8 percent increase in fatal overdoses statewide. The report indicates that Fentanyl and cocaine are the most commonly present substances in fatal overdoses.
“These numbers reflect the significant impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on mental health, a large amount of Fentanyl in the drug supply, and growing disparities in social determinants of health,” District Attorney Andrea Harrington said.
“My office will continue prosecuting large-scale, sophisticated narcotics distribution networks, but reducing the number of fatal overdoses requires vastly expanding harm reduction and increasing access to healthy food, safe housing, health care, greater employment, and affordable child care.”
Berkshire District Attorney Andrea Harrington’s office serves all 32 cities and towns in Berkshire County. The office represents the Commonwealth in more than 7,500 criminal cases per year in Berkshire Superior Court, three district courts, three juvenile courts, Massachusetts Appeals Court, and Supreme Judicial Court. The office works closely with the State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office, the Berkshire Law Enforcement Task Force, and collaborates with local police departments across the county. A dedicated staff of more than 50 prioritizes public safety, empowering victims and witnesses through services and support, and building a safe community for everyone and especially the most vulnerable.