Heroin, which is cheap to buy, but costly to use, has fueled an epidemic of heroin addicts in PA. Approximately 3000 people in PA have died from Heroin in the past 5 years. Heroin is a semi-synthetic opiate derived from morphine or codeine and is the most potent of the opiates. It is typically found in white to brown powdered form and can be injected, sniffed, or smoked. Injection is the most efficient manner of delivering the drug to the central nervous system. However, the availability of higher purity heroin has meant that more users can now sniff or smoke the drug and still achieve the desired effect.
55 out of the 1073 criminal complaints filed in Schuylkill County since Jan 6, 2014 include a charge dealing with heroin- either dealing, possessing, or both.
On Nov. 29, 2014 Act 139 went into effect to allow Naloxone (Narcan), a life-saving opioid overdose reversal medicine, to be prescribed to a third party, such as a friend or family member, and administered by law enforcement and firefighters. In addition, it provides legal protections for witnesses, or Good Samaritans, seeking medical help at the scene of an overdose. According to ACT 139, police officers, fire fighters, other emergency responders, family members, friends and others who are in a position to be able to help someone who is overdosing, may be prescribed Naloxone and may lawfully administer the drug to someone who is experiencing an overdose. Additionally, under the "Good Samaritan" provision of ACT 139, fellow drug-users may call 911 to get help for someone who is overdosing, without fear of prosecution for drug possession, so long as they comply with the requirements of the Act and remain with the overdosing individual until help comes. Furthermore, you need to provide your own name and location.
Narcan works within minutes to restore breathing in people overdosing on opiate drugs by blocking opiate receptors and essentially reversing the adverse, deadly effects of opioid drugs, such as Heroin.
Signs of an overdose:
Police, firefighters, or other emergency responders who wish to get this training may take the 15-minute online training available at www.givenaloxone.org.
The Schuylkill County District Attorney's Office supports this medicine and will release forfeiture dollars in support of these efforts. It is crucial that the general public remain knowledgeable about the dangers of drug use and we encourage citizens to report any suspected drug activity to either a local or state police agency or to the Drug Task Force hotline below. Tips may be left anonymously for added peace of mind and public safety.