HARRISBURG – Senator Michele Brooks urges Western Pennsylvania residents affected by the growing heroin and opioid epidemic to join in a special Telephone Town Hall meeting, to be held at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 21 from the State Capitol in Harrisburg.
To sign up, interested residents may visit www.acommonwealthcrisis.com to receive a phone call a few minutes before the town hall meeting begins, or by texting the keyword “talkheroin” to the number 828282. Audio streaming for the tele-town hall will also be available online.
Senator Gene Yaw, who chairs the Center for Rural Pennsylvania, will host the event and be joined by Dr. Brad Miller, Program Director and Director of Medical Education at the Williamsport Family Medicine Residency at UPMC Susquehanna Health; Andy Watson, Potter County District Attorney; Marie Plumer, Director of the Venango County Substance Abuse Office; and Barry Denk, Director of the Center for Rural Pennsylvania. These knowledgeable professionals will answer questions about heroin and opioid addiction and what the Legislature is doing to curb this growing crisis.
Nearly 3,400 drug-related overdose deaths were reported in Pennsylvania in 2015, an increase of more than 23 percent over 2014. In about four out of five of those deaths, heroin or at least one opioid was detected.
“I have talked to too many grieving families who have lost loved ones suddenly and senselessly to heroin,” said Senator Brooks. “This crisis cuts across all demographics and has cast a shadow over not only urban America, but rural and suburban communities as well. It requires an immediate and innovative response that enlists the aid of everyone, from parents and police, to physicians and teachers. We need to combat this health care crisis as a community, before more young lives are taken. This tele-town hall is designed to move us forward in that direction.”
CONTACT: Diane McNaughton