What: The Center for Rural Pennsylvania has announced three public hearings to be held across Pennsylvania to solicit testimony on heroin and opioid addiction treatment and recovery services. State Senator Gene Yaw, chairman of the Center for Rural Pennsylvania’s Board of Directors, says this series of public hearings is intended to continue informing the public of the health crisis of heroin/opioid addiction and fatalities, and to bring greater focus and attention to treatment and recovery services.
Who: Click here for a copy of the Agenda for Hearing 1 – Latrobe
The Center for Rural Pennsylvania Board of Directors:
Senator Gene Yaw, Chairman
Senator John Wozniak, Vice Chairman
Representative Garth D. Everett, Treasurer
Dr. Nancy Falvo, Clarion University, Secretary
Representative Sid Michaels Kavulich
Dr. Livingston Alexander, University of Pittsburgh
Dr. Theodore R. Alter, Pennsylvania State University
Stephen M. Brame, Governor’s Representative
Taylor A. Doebler III, Governor’s Representative
Dr. Stephan J. Goetz, Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development
Dr. Karen M. Whitney, Clarion University
When: Tuesday, July 21, 2015, 10 a.m.
Where: Saint Vincent College, Fred M. Rogers Center, Latrobe, PA
Background: In Pennsylvania, the number of fatal heroin overdoses has been increasing. According to a report from the Pennsylvania State Coroners Association, 2,489 individuals died from drug-related causes in 2014, a 20 percent increase from 2013. The association also reported that initial data from 2015 indicate the number of deaths will continue to increase.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirms these sobering statistics, as its 2015 report indicated that heroin overdose deaths in the United States, fueled by lower heroin prices and the increased abuse of prescription opiate painkillers, nearly quadrupled between 2002 and 2013. According to the CDC, reversing these trends will require a wide-ranging response, from improving opioid prescribing practices and expanding access to effective treatment, to increasing the use of medications, such as naloxone, to reverse drug overdoses, to working with law enforcement to disrupt the supply of heroin.
The statewide hearings sponsored by the Center will focus on the issues surrounding the need for effective treatment and recovery services, which includes the increased use of naloxone to save lives.
Barry Denk, Director or Christine Caldara Piatos, Communications Manager
The Center for Rural Pennsylvania