The Berkshire District Attorney's Office and the Berkshire Law Enforcement Task Force are warning Berkshire County residents about an increased amount of fentanyl-laced heroin across Berkshire County.

The Massachusetts State Police Crime Laboratory tested numerous substances recently seized by the Berkshire Drug Task Force and noted increased potency and a greater prevalence of fentanyl.

"The social and economic stress of the COVID-19 pandemic increases the vulnerability of people who use narcotics. We ask anyone actively using narcotics to be as safe as possible when doing so and those who are in recovery to continue treatment, attend virtual support group meetings, and seek counseling," District Attorney Andrea Harrington said.

"I thank the Berkshire Law Enforcement Task Force for their continued effort to investigate and arrest those who distribute dangerous drugs in our community and our recovery community for providing outreach to those with substance use disorder even in these trying times."

The Berkshire District Attorney's Office encourages residents to learn the signs of an 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 District Attorney's Office reminds those struggling with their recovery that help is available. Support groups are still meeting virtually and the Brien Center Crisis Line is still operating.

The Berkshire District Attorney's Office asks people who are actively using drugs to practice safer usage to limit the risk of overdose death by never using alone - call a loved one or use - so somebody is available to call 911 in case of an overdose and having naloxone on hand.

Residents can find organizations offering services and support in the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office’s Community Resource Guide here.

The Berkshire Law Enforcement Task Force's investigation into the sources of the potent mixture of substances remains ongoing.

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