Heroin

Narcan nasal spray
Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania residents will be able to get free naloxone at nearly 80 locations across the state on Thursday, Dec. 13. That includes places in Blair, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Huntingdon and McKean counties.

Naloxone is a life-saving medication used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. 

Group of walkers on a path
Anne Danahy / WPSU

Runners and walkers were cheered across the finish line at a recent charity run in South Williamsport. The goal was not only to win a half-marathon or 10K, but to raise money and awareness to counter addiction.

Among those cheering at the finish line was Dylan. He’ll have been sober for two years in November.

“Drug court changed my life. It saved my life,” he said.

AP Photo/MichaelRubinkam

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) — Colored bulbs cast an eerie blue glow in the restroom of a convenience store where people who inject heroin and other drugs have been seeking the relative privacy of the stalls to shoot up.

The blue lights are meant to discourage people from using drugs in store bathrooms by making it more difficult for them to see their veins. It's an idea that's been around for years but is getting a fresh look as a result of the nation's opioid epidemic.

Opioid Epidemic, Budget Cuts Discussed At Town Hall

Jun 9, 2017
Commissioner Michael Pipe speaks at the joint town hall meeting in Bellefonte.
Emily Reddy / WPSU

A joint town hall meeting last night brought attention to both potential budget cuts and the opioid problem in Centre County.

The Centre County Board of Commissioners and the Bellefonte Borough Council met in Bellefonte to discuss recent work they are doing to improve the county.

The proposed Pennsylvania house budget would zero out both adult and juvenile probation and reduce funding for mental health services and homelessness programs.

Centre County Commissioner Michael Pipe is hoping to end up with flat funding, but worries it will be late.

A group of panelist discussed Centre County's growing heroin epidemic in Mount Nittany Medical Center on July 26, 2016.
Erin Cassidy Hendrick / WPSU

Over 200 people attended a town hall meeting to discuss the growing epidemic of heroin and opioid drug addiction in Centre County. A group of panelists ranging from law enforcement, medical professionals and public health officials focused on raising awareness and the need to treat drug addiction as a disease.

Bonnie Kline Smeltzer
Emily Reddy / WPSU

The Smeltzer family lives in a tree-lined subdivision in Boalsburg, just outside of State College. Their living room has a huge picture window with a view of a little park and beyond that the Tussey Mountain ski slope.

St. Joseph Institute sign
Kelly Tunney / WPSU

    

Twenty-seven year old Emily first experimented with drugs at a party when she was nineteen.  Soon, heroin became her drug of choice. At the peak of her addiction, she was using daily--multiple times a day.  

It took a long time before anyone noticed.  Emily was a 4.0 student and, she says, a "great liar."  

"I was the last person anyone would ever believe to be a heroin addict," says Emily.

Judge
Williamsport Sun-Gazette

Drug Courts are one of the country's fastest growing criminal justice initiatives.  Experts say they give drug addicts a chance to straighten out reduce recidivism, and save taxpayers money.  How do they work?  WPSU's Patty Satalia talks with the Honorable Nancy Butts, president judge of the 29th district court, Lycoming County.