Northern Berkshire Community Coalition

Organizing and supporting the Northern Berkshire community for over 30 years!

nb21 (not before 21, not in northern Berkshire)  is a community organizing program designed to reduce teens’ access to alcohol and other drugs by changing community policies and practices.

OUR MISSION is to employ a range of community organizing techniques to address the legal, institutional, social and health issues related to underage drinking and drug use.

OUR GOAL is to educate the community on the social and health consequences of underage substance use, change social norms and provide resources for community education and change in order to reduce youth substance use.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, please contact Wendy Penner at 413-663-7588.

Community Actions

Substance Abuse

Resource Materials



Safe Homes

Server Trainings/

Compliance Checks

Collaborative Projects

 Contact nb21

nb21 Strategy Work Group: Our nb21 work group invites participation from representatives in all towns across north Berkshire to implement strategy to prevent underage drinking and marijuana use. Through media based strategies, and collaborations with parents, schools, pediatricians, and youth workers the entire community can work to reduce substance use by youth.

Stop! In the Name of Health: nb21 has joined with Mass in Motion to host a monthly prevention show. Topics range from substance use prevention to active living, healthy eating, oral hygiene and more!  Watch our show on Northern Berkshire Community Television!

Rx Roundups: Two-thirds of teens that report abusing prescription medicine admit to getting them from friends, family and acquaintances. nb21 partners with area agencies to make it easy to dispose of old or unwanted medications, helping to get them disposed of safely. Click here to learn more about the 2016 Roundup.

Voices for Recovery Rally/Walk/Vigil: nbCC's Rx/Heroin Workgroup has partnered with the City of North Adams and the Josh Bressette Commit to Save a Life Group to host a community event to help raise awareness for recovery from substance abuse during September, National Recovery Month.

nb21 has created several brochures to encourage community education and awareness on the issue of substance use.  Hard copies of these resources are available at the nbCC offices. For a list of our other resource guides, click here.

Action Steps to Begin Recovery - This brochure explains the steps you need to take if you or a loved one is struggling with an alcohol or drug use problem, along with local Berkshire County Resources to help on the road to recovery.

Prevent Misuse of Prescription Drugs - This brochure contains a list of commonly misued medications and explains the steps everyone can take to reduce the misuse of prescription drugs.

Berkshire County Substance Abuse Recovery Resource Palm Card - Contains a list of local support groups, helplines, Detox Centers, Outpatient Programs and Residential Long-Term Treatment Programs.

nbCC held a community forum in November 2012 to discuss the problem of recreational prescription drug and heroin use in North County.  The forum was filled with concerned community residents and professionals eager to talk about this issue and learn more about it.

A follow up work group was formed and meets once a month. Meeting on the first Tuesday of the month at the nbCC conference room, this diverse group includes community leaders, medical and mental health professionals, first responders, people in active recovery, and family members who have suffered from the substance abuse disorders of loved ones. The group has developed a palm card listing local resources that law enforcement, clergy, service providers and ERs use for individuals wanting to address their addiction. The group has also created a “Misuse of Rx Drugs” brochure that has been distributed to prescribers across North Berkshire and beyond (Click the Substance Use Resource Materials tab to download). The group is looking at some broader issues, as well: community education, including reducing stigma by holding events to celebrate recovery, advocating for access to naloxone, and working to address the need for appropriate aftercare when persons in recovery come out of detox.

To learn more about this issue or to become part of the work group, contact Wendy Penner at

There is a common misconception that it is normal for alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs to be present at middle and high school parties, and even more surprisingly, many parents suspect that it is normal for other parents to provide their teenaged children with alcohol. Safe Homes is a program that combats these issues while aiming to provide ways for parents to be more connected with other parents in the community as well as more involved in the lives of their children.

Safe Homes of North Berkshire is a network of parents who pledge that they will be at home when their teens have parties and they will not allow the illegal use of alcohol, drugs, or tobacco at teen parties in their home or on their property.  A list of Safe Homes parents is gathered annually through these pledges and a Safe Homes Resource Guide is sent to parents which include the names of all parents in the network and other resources to talk with their children about alcohol and other drugs.

Take the pledge!

Alcohol Server Training:  nb21 organizes Alcohol Server (TIPS) Training twice per year at a convenient location in North County.  The four-hour training provides alcohol servers with the skills to recognize and respond to patrons under the influence and skills to recognize underage drinkers.

Alcohol Compliance Checks:  nb21 works with local law enforcement to ensure that liquor establishments are following the state law that prohibits the sale of alcohol to minors. Trained youth, with adult chaperones, visit liquor stores, bars and restaurants and attempt to purchase alcohol. Adams, N. Adams and Williamstown have a penalty structure for those establishments that fail compliance.

Sticker Shock: Annually, youth and adult chaperones visit local liquor stores and place stickers on products that are commonly purchased for underage drinkers.  The stickers remind patrons of the penalties for providing alcohol to minors.

To learn more, or to participate in one of these initiatives, click the "Contact nb21" tab and send us a message!

nb21 collaborates with other organizations on substance use prevention projects to encourage a countywide approach where appropriate.

Berkshire Youth Development Project (BYDP):  nb21 partners with BYDP to survey youth across the county on the risk and protective factors in their lives.  This survey is called the Prevention Needs Assessment Survey and has been administered collaboratively since 2006. You can find our most recent data here.

RX Roundup: nb21 also collaborates with BYDP on the Rx Round Up, a twice-annual medication take-back day to raise awareness on safe disposal of unused and unwanted medications.

Berkshire Opioid Abuse Prevention Collaborative (BOAPC):  nb21 partners with BOAPC to enhance community education on the opioid and other drug issue in our region.  We partner in community education about the use and misuse of opioids, coordinate trainings on this subject for opioid prescribers and work with health educators to enhance their knowledge and curricula around this topic.

Contact Us

You can call the Director of Prevention Programs at (413) 663-7588 ext. 14 or send us an e-mail and we'll reply as soon as possible.

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61 Main Street, Suite 218  |  North Adams. MA 01247  |  Tel: (413) 663-7588  |  Fax: (413) 663-9877