Confronting the Heroin/Opioid Epidemic in Pennsylvania

What: The Center for Rural Pennsylvania will hold its 10th public hearing to solicit testimony on confronting the heroin and opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania and how this epidemic is affecting our most rural counties. The hearing will be held at the Fez in Aliquippa, PA and will be hosted by State Senator Elder Vogel and State Senator Camera Bartolotta. State Senator Gene Yaw, chairman of the Center for Rural Pennsylvania’s Board of Directors, says the public hearings are 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. Click here for a video background on the upcoming hearing, featuring Sen. Yaw, Sen. Vogel and Sen. Bartolotta.

Who: Click here for a copy of the Aliquippa Agenda.


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: Thursday, June 2, 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Where: The Fez, 2312 Brodhead Rd, Aliquippa, PA 15001 (Map)

Background: Pennsylvania leads the nation in drug overdose deaths among young adult men, according to a 2015 report released by the Trust for America’s Health, a public health nonprofit. Additionally, states across the nation are reporting an increase in heroin use as addicts are shifting from more costly prescription opioids to cheaper alternatives. More recent reports indicate that approximately 80 percent of heroin addicts traced their addiction back to prescription opioids. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Vital Signs report also confirmed that health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for painkillers in 2012, enough for every adult in the U.S. to have a bottle of prescription painkillers.

In 2014 and 2015, the Center for Rural Pennsylvania conducted seven public hearings on the heroin epidemic, which has now taken center stage on the local, state and national levels. Senator Gene Yaw, Chairman of the Center’s Board of Directors, said the Center will continue to lead the way to educate policymakers, inform the public, and enhance current policies in Pennsylvania related to heroin and opioid addiction treatment.

The Center for Rural Pennsylvania
625 Forster St., Room 902
Harrisburg, PA 17120
(717) 787-9555
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Contact: Barry Denk, Director or

Christine Caldara Piatos, Communications Manager
The Center for Rural Pennsylvania
(717) 787-9555


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