Celebrating 50 Years!

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.



History Highlights

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

2015Warm 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)

2019Marijuana Diversion Program begins

2019RISE Recovery Center opens

2020 – In response to COVID-19, COCA provides virtual trainings and prevention services

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