Heroin: Combating this Growing Epidemic in Rural Pennsylvania
The Center for Rural Pennsylvania held public hearings to examine and discuss current policies and practices related to heroin and opioid addiction, including prevention, treatment and law enforcement efforts. In Pennsylvania, the number of fatal heroin overdoses has been steadily increasing. According to a 2014 report from the Pennsylvania State Coroners Association, there were 45 reported heroin deaths in 2009 and 124 reported heroin deaths by mid-2013. Other states across the nation are reporting an increase in heroin use as addicts are shifting from more costly prescription opioids to cheaper alternatives. Three primary themes repeatedly mentioned during the hearings included: educating individuals to the dangers of opioid abuse; increasing the accessibility and availability for those seeking treatment; and providing law enforcement with the tools to help eradicate heroin from our communities. To learn more click here.
USDA Launches Interactive Map of Opioid Epidemic Resources
Interactive Map Connects Rural Individuals and Communities to Model Practices Across the Country
WASHINGTON, June 14, 2018 – Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today unveiled a new interactive feature on the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) rural opioid misuse webpage. Now webpage visitors can use an interactive map to learn about, access or replicate actions rural leaders are taking in small towns across the country to address the opioid epidemic through prevention, treatment and recovery opportunities. The interactive map can be viewed at https://www.usda.gov/topics/opioids/resources-map.
“Leaving no community untouched, the opioid epidemic has taken a monumental toll on many of the small towns and rural places that are the heartbeat of our country,” Hazlett said. “USDA is a strong partner to rural leaders in addressing this issue through programs for prevention, treatment and recovery, as well as programs that build rural resilience and prosperity for the future.”
USDA collected model practices displayed on the interactive map from regional opioid misuse roundtables and through the “What’s working in your town?” form on the USDA opioid misuse webpage. USDA invites you to share effective actions taken in response to the opioid epidemic in rural communities by filling out the “What’s working in your town?” form.
At the direction of President Trump, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been keenly focused on addressing the opioid crisis in rural communities. So far, the Department has convened regional roundtables to hear firsthand accounts of the impact of the crisis and effective strategies for response in rural communities; launched an interactive webpage on opioid misuse in rural America featuring resources for rural communities and individuals facing the crisis; and prioritized investments in three key grant programs to address the crisis in rural places. For more information about these efforts, visit the USDA rural opioid misuse webpage at www.usda.gov/topics/opioids.
In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump, which included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America.
In the area of quality of life, the Task Force included a recommendation to modernize health care access. The report highlighted the importance of telemedicine in enhancing access to primary care and specialty providers. The Task Force also found that improved access to mental and behavioral health care, particularly prevention, treatment, and recovery resources, is vital to addressing the opioid crisis and other substance misuse in rural communities.
To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.
April 3, 2017
Sam Quinones, a former Los Angeles-based journalist, will share the insights he gained while writing his book “Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic” during a presentation on April 3 at 7 p.m. at the Community Arts Center in downtown Williamsport. The presentation is free and open to the public.
Quinones will discuss the development and writing of his book, which traces the emergence and social impacts of the national crisis of opioid and heroin abuse. His stories center around the fall and rise of Portsmouth, Ohio, as the backdrop to weave together two riveting tales of capitalism run amok: the unfettered prescription of addictive pain medications during the 1990s and the influx of black tar heroin.
State Senator Gene Yaw hosted a special conversation for his constituents to specifically address opioid and heroin addiction. Pennsylvania is leading the nation in drug overdose deaths, especially in young men. The Senator and his guests, Barry Denk, Director of the Center for Rural Pennsylvania, and Dr. Nancy Falvo, Professor of Nursing, Clarion University, talked to callers about community driven programs to help prevent and deal with the epidemic. Listen as they discuss the availability and use of Narcan/Naloxone to help overdose victims. Multiple aspects of the overall problem were discussed from reducing access, the efficacy of methadone and other treatments, and how to monitor the use of opioid medications for those who legitimately need them to help with chronic pain. The panel also discussed the mental health issues that contribute to drug addiction.
Senator Aument hosts a discussion on the growing heroin and opioid epidemic in Lancaster County and across the state.
Senator Gene Yaw talks with Cambria County Senator John Wozniak about upcoming hearings through The Center for Rural Pennsylvania on the rise of heroin and other opioid use in Pennsylvania.
Senator Gene Yaw talks with Barry Denk, Executive Director of the Center for Rural Pennsylvania about upcoming hearings through the Center on the rise of heroin and other opioid use in Pennsylvania.
Senator Gene Yaw talks with Berks County Senator Judy Schwank about upcoming hearings through The Center for Rural Pennsylvania on the rise of heroin and other opioid use in Pennsylvania.
December 15, 2018
October 03, 2018
October 03, 2018
Members of the Center for Rural Pennsylvania Board of Directors and other legislators today convened at the State Capitol as part of a four year examination of the statewide opioid crisis, with a focus on treating addiction as a disease, such as heart disease or diabetes. [Read More]
September 28, 2018
August 17, 2018
PUBLIC HEARING State of Addiction Confronting the Heroin/Opioid Epidemic in Pennsylvania Wednesday – August 15, 2018 Cambria County Courthouse, Courthouse 1 Ebensburg, PA AGENDA 6:30PM Welcome and Opening Comments Senator Gene Yaw, Chairman, The Center for Rural Pennsylvania 6:45PM Cambria County Drug Coalition Members: Ms. Tracy Selak – Cambria County BH, ID, EI and […] [Read More]
August 09, 2018
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. Senator Yaw Audio Senator Langerholc Audio [Read More]
June 16, 2018
June 11, 2018
Public Policy and Best Practices for Reducing Opioid Harm | June 6, 2018 | 14 East Wing, State Capitol Building [Read More]
May 01, 2018
Winners of a statewide “Talk to Your State Senator” video competition will be announced online at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, May 2, according to Senator Gene Yaw (R-23). [Read More]
April 30, 2018
April 11, 2018
April 10, 2018
State Sen. Gene Yaw (R-23) will participate in Communities in Crisis: PA’s Opioid Epidemic, a conference sponsored by the Mu Xi Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Society at Clarion University of PA and the Pennsylvania Emergency Nursing Association. [Read More]