HARM REDUCTION AND RECOVERY RESOURCE CENTER
Our campaign is strongly committed to being part of the solution to the opioid epidemic and has posted our recommendations on areas of focus. CLICK HERE to read opioid our position paper.
Earlier this summer, our campaign conducted an opioid roundtable discussion at our Pottsville campaign headquarters
Our campaign also participated in the first Drug Awareness Day in Pottsville
As part of our continued commitment to being part of the solution, we are pleased to launch this HARM REDUCTION AND RECOVERY RESOURCE CENTER, which will continue to update and expand ongoing.
The PA Dept of Health does have a standing order as related to Naloxone Prescriptions for Overdose Prevention. Please CLICK HERE to read the standing order.
GET RID OF THOSE UNUSED PRESCRIPTIONS
One of the things we can all do is properly dispose of unused prescription medications, so that what is currently taking up space in a medicine cabinet does not become a readily accessible drug for someone struggling with addiction.
This resource allows you to type in your zip code and see all of the prescription drop off locations in your area. If you type in the zip code for Pottsville (17901) and click the 50 mile radius, you can see all locations identified within the eight counties* that comprise 9th Congressional District (and some beyond): CLICK HERE for Drug Take Back Locations.
WARM HANDOFF LOCATIONS NEAR YOU
A “warm handoff” (some call this a “soft handoff”) is a process to help overdose survivors who appear/end up in emergency rooms receive the counseling and a medical referral to be transferred directly to a treatment facility (rather than being released from the ER and, often continuing the pattern of drug abuse).
In Berks County, Reading Hospital is among those leading the way in implementing the process of warm handoffs. Here is a presentation explaining their efforts which other hospital administrators across the 9th District can review and consider modeling: CLICK HERE for Rapid Recovery Referral - The Warm Handoff PDF.
And Berks County’s Warm Handoff Program is expanding: CLICK HERE to View Expansion in 2018.
Additionally, as of August of this year, the following forty-five locations have been identified in the Commonwealth as “Centers of Excellence” for warm-handoffs. Six of the “Centers of Excellence” are based somewhere within in the eight counties that comprise the 9th Congressional District CLICK HERE to view a map of all the locations.
If you live in the Commonwealth and need help, you can call PA GET HELP NOW 1 800 662 4357 (HELP) or contact your local drug and alcohol office. In the counties of the 9th Congressional District*, they are:
Berks County Council On Chemical Abuse
601 Penn Street, Suite 600
Reading PA 19601
Columbia Montour Snyder Union Drug and Alcohol Program
PO Box 219
Danville PA 17821
570-275-5422 or 800-222-9016
Lebanon County Commission On Drug & Alcohol Abuse
220 East Lehman Street
Lebanon PA 17046
717-274-0427 or 717-274-3363
Luzerne Wyoming Counties Drug & Alcohol Program
111 N Pennsylvania Ave 2nd Floor
Wilkes-Barre PA 18701
570-826-8790 or 570-829-1341
Northumberland County BH/IDS
Human Senior & Social Services Building
217 North Center St
Sunbury PA 17801
570-495-2154 or 800-222-9016
Schuylkill County Drug and Alcohol
108 South Claude A Lord Blvd, 2nd Floor
Pottsville PA 17901
Note: Carbon County lists 501C3’s for support online such as Carbon/Monroe/Pike Drug and Alcohol Commission 428 South 7th St, Suite 1, Lehighton, PA or by calling 610-377-5177.
VETERAN AFFAIRS LOCATIONS:
For veterans in the 9th Congressional District* the following may be contacted to discuss addiction/recovery programs:
VA MEDICAL CENTERS:
Lebanon VA Medical Center (Lebanon County)
717-272-6621 or 800-409-8771
Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center (Luzerne County)
570-824-3521 or 877-928-2621
2762 Century Blvd
Wyomissing PA 19610
Columbia County Outpatient
301 West 3rd Street
Berwick PA 18603
Schuylkill County Outpatient
1410 Laurel Blvd, Suite 2
Pottsville PA 17901
Disclaimer: Meuser for Congress does not recommend/endorse treatment centers/hospitals/recovery programs or not-for-profits—please discuss the option that is best for you with trained medical professionals.
And Did You Know This Is Happening In Your County?
The 9th Congressional District includes: parts of Luzerne, Northumberland and Berks Counties and all of Carbon, Schuylkill, Columbia, Montour, Lebanon Counties*
July 1, 2018, The Morning Call put together a comprehensive report on initiatives to be part of the solution being taken by every county across the Commonwealth of PA per news reports. Below is what was reported about the counties that make up the 9th Congressional District:
A new drug treatment program, built on a deep commitment by the Berks County court system, is seeing strong results. A team of judges, probation officers, public defenders and assistant district attorneys meets monthly to brainstorm ideas. They’ve already begun programs, including exercise groups, a book club and garden club. Their aim is to create a greater sense of community for those who have completed these programs. — Reading Eagle
A group of community leaders in Carbon County meets each month with a common goal of eliminating overdose deaths. The diverse group of civic-minded people is striving to understand how the opioid epidemic is affecting the county and what it can do to make a difference. — Standard Speaker
In Columbia County, Berwick police officers are trying to extend a helping hand to addicts, guiding them toward treatment even as they crack down on drug dealers. The program is in its infancy, but Chief Kenneth Strish has high hopes it will both cut down on crime and save lives. “Protect and serve,” the chief says, also applies to those with an addiction. — Press-Enterprise.
While police and some large security firms employ drug-sniffing dogs, Fred Nell said his small, private business is a rarity in Pennsylvania. His dog Sadie does 25-30 searches per month, and demand for the Lebanon County-based business is booming so much that Nell is considering training a second dog. — Lebanon Daily News
Notes of Encouragement
A Luzerne County woman founded the support group Moms of Cherished Angels after her 22-year-old son died last August due to an accidental overdose. A few weeks into their meetings, the women decided talking wasn’t enough. They decided to fill backpacks with toiletries and donate them to those entering rehabilitation centers. They wanted to do something to both keep their children’s memories alive and help others who are suffering. With the packages of toothpaste, shampoo, notebooks and more come notes of encouragement. — Hazleton Standard-Speaker
One of the newest treatments to combat the opioid crisis in Luzerne County is the Medication-Assisted Treatment Addiction Clinic at Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre hospital. The clinic is similar to a methadone clinic but uses buprenorphine (Suboxone) or naltrexone (Vivitrol) to help suppress withdrawal symptoms and cravings for opioids. Unlike methadone, those drugs can be administered in an office setting or prescribed to take home. The opening of the clinic came during a year when Luzerne County experienced a record 151 drug overdoses, most of them tied to opioids such as heroin and fentanyl. — The Citizens’ Voice
Geisinger Health System took efforts to change its internal culture of prescribing opioids, slashing by half its opioid prescriptions and focusing instead on a regimen of pain management combining physical therapy with changes in diet and behavior. Opioid prescriptions dropped from a monthly average of 60,000 to 31,000 since 2014, according to the health system. How Geisinger got there came, in part, through prescribing data and changing how prescriptions are ordered. Geisinger developed a provider dashboard to identify heavy prescribers in its system and educate all clinicians system-wide on best prescribing practices. It also shifted to electronic prescribing. This summer, all prescriptions will be made electronically. — The Daily Item
Continuum of Care
The development of a drug rehabilitation facility is at the heart of Northumberland County’s attempt to establish a continuum of care. A former juvenile detention center building is under renovation in Coal Township for a multiservice treatment facility. Gaudenzia Inc. will offer outpatient services along with a seven-bed detox center and 16-bed inpatient rehab facility. County officials think the capacity will quickly expand. The care continuum includes the potential to have 24/7 drug and alcohol assessments for police referrals, potentially funneling people to rehab instead of jail when they’re picked up by police. — The Daily Item
Schuylkill County started a drug treatment court in 2017 to combat the opioid crisis and other forms of drug addiction. After completing inpatient treatment, people in the program attend weekly court sessions, where participants read from essays about how the program has affected them. Sanctions are levied against participants who violate program rules. This year, the first graduates should finish. With that comes dismissal of charges against them. — The Republican-Herald
MEUSER FOR CONGRESS OPIOID ROUNDTABLE OUTCOMES
Finally, our campaign conducted its first opioid epidemic roundtable discussion at our Pottsville Headquarters earlier this summer and we plan to continue these discussions as we work towards solutions. Here are just some of the key findings that came out of our discussions and issues we plan to work on with local community leaders:
- States other than Pennsylvania currently have online resources to help one find an available bed at a treatment facility…providing such online access to bed availabilities must be a priority for us
- Very few treatment centers are available for juveniles struggling with addiction in the commonwealth
- Many medical professionals do not receive extensive training as to how to identify or handle addiction