HARRISBURG – State Sen. John N. Wozniak (D-Cambria) said on Thursday that the latest Center for Rural Pennsylvania hearing on heroin and opioid addiction has helped to focus attention on ways to combat the epidemic.
“We need to use all of the resources at our disposal to fight heroin and opioid addiction,” Wozniak said. “The hearings conducted by the Center for Rural Pennsylvania heightened awareness of the epidemic and brought focus to the issue.
“Our efforts are aimed at finding ways to better administer prevention, recovery and treatment options and learn more about what law enforcement can do.”
The hearing, held in York, was the Center’s seventh on the issue. The center has taken more than 30 hours of testimony from 90 presenters and more than 350 pages of testimony have been submitted.
The number of heroin-related fatalities is rapidly increasing. According to the state coroner’s association, drug-related deaths increased 20 percent from 2013 to 2014, and another increase is expected this year.
“There are far too many incidents involving heroin use and policymakers should come to grips with this issue soon,” Wozniak said. “The hearings have been extremely valuable as a source of information.”
The Center for Rural Pennsylvania is a bipartisan, bicameral legislative research agency of the General Assembly. Wozniak serves as vice-chairman of the Center’s board of directors.