“State of Addiction” Public Hearing Set for August 15

Senator Yaw Audio

Senator Langerholc Audio

HARRISBURG – The Center for Rural Pennsylvania, chaired by State Senator Gene Yaw, will hold a public hearing in Ebensburg on Wednesday, August 15 to gather more information on Medication Assisted Treatment services, Pennsylvania drug courts, and reemployment opportunities for people battling addiction to heroin and opioids.

The public hearing will be held at the Cambria County Courthouse, Courtroom 1, 200 South Center St., Ebensburg, PA 15931, and will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Senator Yaw will preside over the hearing and will be joined by fellow Center Board Members Dr. Nancy Falvo of Clarion University, Dr. Michael Driscoll, President of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and Mr. Darrin Youker of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau. State Senator Wayne Langerholc will host the hearing.

“From our previous hearings, the Center for Rural Pennsylvania learned how difficult it is for people with substance use disorder to get back to work,” said Senator Yaw. “We also heard about the many treatment options for individuals that can help them in recovery. At this hearing, we want to learn more about the local programs that help with reemployment, the success of county drug courts, and the treatment programs that help people recover from their addiction and be successful in their recovery.”

In 2014, the Center held its first public hearing on the heroin and opioid crisis affecting the Commonwealth. Since then, it has held more than a dozen hearings, which have helped to create statewide awareness of the crisis, and to encourage numerous legislative and administrative initiatives to combat a disease that now claims more lives each year than those lost to traffic accidents.

“Over the past few years, our state and nation have taken positive steps to address this epidemic,” Yaw said. “The most recent being nearly $5 million in funding from the National Health Emergency (NHE) Dislocated Worker Demonstration Grant for reemployment services for individuals affected by the opioid epidemic. However, we need to remain focused on fighting this epidemic, as it continues to devastate our rural and urban communities.”

For a copy of the agenda, click here.

Members of the public and media are invited to attend. 

The Center for Rural Pennsylvania is a bipartisan, bicameral legislative agency that serves as a resource for rural policy within the Pennsylvania General Assembly. The Center works with the legislature, educators, state and federal executive branch agencies, and national, statewide, regional and local organizations to maximize resources and strategies that can better serve Pennsylvania’s nearly 3.4 million rural residents.


Barry Denk, Director
Center for Rural Pennsylvania
(717) 787-9555

Rita Zielonis, Chief of Staff
Senator Gene Yaw’s Office
(717) 787-3280

Gwenn Dando, Chief of Staff
Senator Wayne Langerholc, Jr.’s Office
(717) 787-5400

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