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Barnstable County Department of Human Services Releases Assessment to Enhance Substance Use/Misuse Prevention Strategies on Cape Cod 

The assessment will inform a 5-year action plan to direct future programming, policy, and funding priorities related to substance use in Barnstable County 

February 1, 2023 (BARNSTABLE, MA)At today’s meeting of the Barnstable County Commissioners, a report on substance use in the region was unveiled through the introduction of Health Resources In Action’s (HRiA) assessment. Presented by the Department of Human Services, this report represents an invaluable resource that contains information regarding addiction issues on Cape Cod.

Substance use continues to be a critical concern in Barnstable County. To examine the impact of substance use in our communities, Barnstable County Department of Human Services (BCDHS) completed a comprehensive community assessment in 2022 funded by MASSCall3 (MC3), a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, which was awarded to the Department in July of 2021. 

The report, made available to the public today, contains vital information regarding substance abuse patterns on Cape Cod:

  • Mortality, morbidity, and societal costs of substance use 
  • Understanding community needs related to substance use 
  • Identifying gaps in resources and services 
  • Identifying and capitalizing on strengths in existing resources 

The report is available at

A recording of the presentation to Barnstable County’s Commissioners is available at:  

The 2022 assessment builds on a previous assessment completed in 2014. Both assessments were conducted in partnership with Health Resources in Action (HRiA), a non-profit public health organization. To reflect changes in the field of substance use since the previous assessment, the domains of focus were updated to prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery. The results of the 2022 assessment will be used to guide the development of a 5-year action plan to direct future programming, policy, and funding priorities related to substance use in Barnstable County. 

“As a County, we remain committed to the work of education and prevention of substance use,” said Human Services Director Joseph Pacheco. “With this assessment and our subsequent initiatives, we will educate a new generation on the dangers of substance use.”  

In other news, several departments proceeded with their proposed fiscal year 2024 operating budget presentations, including AmeriCorps, Cape Cod Cooperative Extension, the Facilities Department, and Information Technology.


Members of the public are encouraged to visit the Barnstable County Meeting Center at to access the Commissioners’ calendar, meeting agendas, information on how to participate, or links to the live-streamed meetings on YOUTUBE.  Barnstable County provides reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities upon request. Contact Justyna Marczak, Barnstable County ADA/Non-Discrimination Coordinator, or call 508-375-6646.


On January 3, Commissioner Ronald Bergstrom was sworn in for his second term as Barnstable County Regional Commissioner. Commissioner Mark Forest was appointed Chair.  Barnstable County Commissioners serve four-year terms, which are staggered so that all three positions don’t come up for election at the same time.  Current Board Members: Mark Forest, Chair (Yarmouth) Term: 2021-2024; Ronald Bergstrom, Vice-Chair (Chatham) Term: 2023-2026; Sheila Lyons, Commissioner (Wellfleet) Term: 2021-2024. Learn more about the Board of Regional Commissioners HERE.

ABOUT BARNSTABLE COUNTY REGIONAL GOVERNMENT OF CAPE COD Barnstable County provides exemplary government functions and services to keep our community healthy and safe, promote sustainable growth, and offer a proactive, open government that enhances the quality of life for the citizens of Barnstable County. Learn more at