A major epidemic has swept across Western PA and is very present in Westmoreland County.
Opioid addiction has struck many in a way that would have seemed impossible thirty years ago.
According to the white house’s official website, since the year 2000 over 300,000 Americans have died from overdoses involving opioids.
In the last 10 years, over 800 people in Westmoreland County alone have died from overdosing.
This problem is very real, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
One holy grail that has saved countless lives is Naloxone, most commonly known as Narcan.
Narcan is an antidote for opiates, if a person has overdosed on heroin or prescription pain medications (Morphine, Oxycodone. Codeine, Vicodin, and Methadone) it can revive them.
Most Police Officers, EMTs, and some Fire Fighters carry Narcan.
When asked if UPG’s officers carry Narcan, Chief Lynch had this to say.
“Our officers are certified to use and do have access to Narcan for use in emergency situations,” something comforting to hear.
The campus nurse, Pamela Reed, also confirmed that the health center keeps Narcan as well for emergency situations.
While heroin and regular pain killers have been to blame for overdosing, one drug that has been found more frequently mixed with them is fentanyl.
Fentanyl is also an opioid, but due to its incredible potency, it can make overdosing an even more common problem.
To give a bit of clarity, Fentanyl is approximately 100 times more potent than morphine.
That is one of the reasons it is extremely dangerous.
Another reason Fentanyl is hazardous to not only the drug user’s health, but the health of anyone encountering it is that the drug can be absorbed through the skin; therefore, it puts many more people at risk.
Addiction is dangerous, and many people in the area struggle with it.
Our current President, Donald J. Trump, along with many other politicians have made it a point that drug addiction is something we, as a society, need to put a stop to.
“The best way to prevent drug addiction and overdose is to prevent people from abusing drugs in the first place. If they don’t start, they won’t have a problem,” is what Trump told
While not everyone likes him, it is hard to disagree with that point.
We must remember that drug addiction is not a victimless crime, it tears apart families and has the power to end lives.
Even if you think your addiction isn’t hurting anyone else, at least think of the toll it is taking on your body.
If you or somebody you know is struggling with addiction, there are many local resources that could help.
MedTech Rehabilitation is a drug addiction treatment center located in downtown Greensburg that specialize in opioid addiction treatment, their phone number is (724) 834-1144.
More convenient locations may be found by searching online for rehabilitation centers local to you.