Pittsfield Prevention Partnership
Reducing substance abuse and at-risk behaviors among youth are the focus of Pittsfield Prevention Partnership activities. Designed as a county-wide collaborative effort and formed in 2004, the PPP today includes members from Berkshire United Way, the Mayor's office, Pittsfield Public Schools, Berkshire Health Systems, the Pittsfield Police Department, the Berkshire County District Attorney's office, the Sheriff's office, the Brien Center, Pittsfield Community Television, the Gladys Allen Brigham Center and youth-targeted social service agencies.
Key to its efforts is an annual prevention needs assessment survey for Berkshire County youth.An analysis of the survey results that compares local rates to national rates is detailed in 2012's "Dynamics of Youth Substance Abuse in Berkshire County."
PPP organizes a wide range of programs throughout the year targeted not just to youths but to parents and the public about their role in reducing youth at-risk behaviors.
Social Norms Media Campaign: With the Pittsfield Public Schools, the PPP is working with the high school Students Against Destructive Decisions Chapters to collect data from their classmates about their alcohol use and attitudes about use, and to design posters and other media to broadcast the positive norm messages that the data reveals.
Parenting Workshops: The PPP works with the schools, Berkshire Children and Families, and other community organizations to bring a variety of evidence-based parenting curricula to the community throughout the year, providing meals, childcare and transportation when needed.
Sticker Shock: Teams of young people put stickers on multi-packs of alcohol in participating stores reminding buyers that it's illegal to provide alcohol to people under 21.
Shoulder Taps surveys: Teens ask customers at a liquor store if they would be willing to buy them alcohol. In the most recent survey, Pittsfield adults overwhelmingly responded “NO,” sending a message to our young people that we care about their health and safety.
Rx Round-up: The PPP works with the Berkshire County District Attorney's office and other local organizations to collect prescription and non-prescription medications for safe disposal.
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