LCCC Addresses Opiate Epidemic


NANTICOKE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) Friday was the last day of classes before Christmas break for students at Luzerne County Community College.  But it was also the first day of an important discussion on opiate abuse between leaders of the school and the county.
     Eyewitness News Anchor Jasmine Brooks reports from Nanticoke.

Students enroll in college to learn and they’ll soon be getting an education on a topic that could mean life or death..
    The opiate epidemic that is sweeping our nation.

“Heroin is cheaper than it’s ever been. Its more available to people than its ever been.”  Said Michael Donahue, Director of Human Services

“We need to do more and we need to do it today.” Noted Thomas Leary, President LCCC

    Thomas Leary is the resident of Luzerne County Community college.

Leaders here are teaming up with leaders of the human services division of Luzerne County to come up with a game plan that will save lives.

    Ideas like education and intervention are being discussed.

    The number of drug overdoses here in Pennsylvania is growing at a rapid speed.

In 2014, there were 67 overdoses
In 2015…95
And so far this year, 128.

    Gary Helena, a LCCC student,  lost a loved one to a drug overdose.

“Family support would be the best thing. If you don’t have family support or the power of yourself get out of drugs.”


But what if you don’t have the support of your family? Luzerne county community college, the biggest college in NEPA, is stepping up to make sure the community and the school supports its students.”

“As the community college one of the most important obligations we have is to make sure we are a healthy, educated society.” noted Leary
    And a challenge was issued.
“I would like to see more schools taking a look at how serious the problem is and saying, look we need to get our staff educated on what to look for, what the signs and symptoms are and how they can promote intervention.”  Added Donahue.
    A big task–addressing a big problem.


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