In the early 1970s, a group of concerned citizens joined together over concern regarding methamphetamine use in the city of Reading and surrounding areas. Fifty years later, the Council on Chemical Abuse now provides a full array of services for those struggling with addiction and their loved ones.
September 13, 1971 – Date of Incorporation
1972 – COCA established as Single County Authority for Berks
1974 – Established counseling program at Berks County Prison
1982 – Treatment Alternatives to Street Crimes (Berks TASC) opens
1985 – Youth Diversionary (underage drinking) Program starts, now known as UDecide
1986 – First recovery house “Men’s Bridge House” opens in Reading, PA.
1987 – COCA helps establish Berks County Student Assistance Program (SAP) teams
1992 – TASC Inc. established as free-standing licensed central intake unit
1994 – Berks County PRIDE was organized to address youth and substance use
1994/95 – Central Intake Unit becomes the new way for individuals to access publicly funded drug and alcohol treatment.
2000 – First Annual Conference
2002 – Berks County PRIDE selected as International Youth Prevention Team at the 2002 World Drug Conference
2013 – Medication Drop Boxes Program Launch
2015 – COCA begins Narcan© distribution
2015 – Warm Handoff program developed as a collaborative effort between COCA, TASC and local hospitals
2016 – Berks Opioid Task Force is formed (now called SOS Berks Opioid Coalition)
2019 – Marijuana Diversion Program begins
2019 – RISE Recovery Center opens
2020 – In response to COVID-19, COCA provides virtual trainings and prevention services