Mix 96.7 and Union City Today Team With the Partnership For a Drug Free America
By Chris Lash Publisher
Union City’s local radio station Mix 96.7, and its online newspaper platform have teamed with the Parnership for a Drug Free America to educate, inform, and try to curb any local drug problem in Union City. This new program will offer hourly public service messages, stats and helpline numbers on air, and online until the Union City French Creek Festival in July.
“We’d like to have our booth at the French Creek Festival this year, to be a drug awareness booth.” added Tom Lavery, the local Operations Director of Mix 96.7.
The scale of the problem of opioid abuse in our country is genuinely alarming. Before I began working on this article, I knew about the issue mostly through its effect on people I care about. But I was deeply unaware of its horrible scope — and the degree to which it has escalated.
Let’s begin with some astonishing numbers. In 2000, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimated that there were 6,242 opioid deaths in the U.S. By 2016, that number had escalated to roughly 64,000 people — and that figure reflects a 22% rise over the previous year, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Last June, the New York Times reported that “drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death among Americans under 50.”
“Opioid” is a blanket term for substances that bind to the opioid receptors in our brains. Heroin is perhaps the most famous example, but prescription drugs like OxyContin, Percocet, and Vicodin are also opioids. And although the U.S. makes up roughly 5 percent of the world’s population, the CDC estimates that we consume about 80 percent of the world’s supply.
In Pennsylvania, the National Center for Health Statistics concluded that there were 3,797 drug overdose deaths between July of 2015 and July of 2016. In the year that followed, that number jumped to 5,443. The Pennsylvania State Coroner’s Association estimates th
Local officials are working to distribute overdose-reversal drug naloxone more widely during ongoing fight against opioids. The number is still high. But in a local first during the opioid epidemic, it is much lower than the year before.
Last year 78 people in Erie County had died from drug-related deaths in 2018, Coroner Lyell Cook said. That’s down about 37 percent from the all-time high of 124 people who died from drugs in 2017.
Drug-related deaths have spiked during the opioid crisis, though not all of the deaths are linked to opioids. Fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid, remains a major threat. Other opioids, such as heroin, have become less prevalent, while other drugs, like methamphetamine, have surged.
The Office administers drug and alcohol prevention programs, information/referral and residential/outpatient treatment programs. Their case management unit provides drug and alcohol screenings, assessments, treatment referral and monitoring along with case management support.
Preferential Treatment: The SCA and its contracted providers which serve our injection drug abuse population shall give preference to treatment as follows:
Pregnant injection drug users; Pregnant substance users; Injection drug users; History of overdose and All others.
Prioritization in treatment authorization and provision of services will be distributed to SCA staff and contracted providers through staff meetings, program director meetings, written contracts and annual program monitoring site visits.
To access information and services: 1-814-451-6877
TDD Number: 814-451-6886
Office Hours: 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM Monday-Friday
On weekends, holidays and after hours:
Emergencies: Call 911
Detoxification: Gaudenzia Erie 814-459-4775 or Millcreek Community Hospital 814-864-4031