The Heroin Crisis

(York, PA) Last week, Governor Wolf announced during an interview with the Harrisburg Patriot Newspaper’s editorial board that he is running for re-election.

During the interview, Governor Wolf made the statement that, “we have this looming opioid crisis epidemic that no one was doing anything about.”

I don’t know where Governor Wolf has been for almost three years.

At the end of May of 2014, Senator Gene Yaw from Lycoming County who is also the Chairman for The Center  for Rural Pennsylvania informed our senate caucus that he was having hearings over the summer to focus on the opioid and heroin crisis.

In July of 2014, I attended a hearing in Reading, PA put on by The Center for Rural Pennsylvania and invited Dave Sunday, an Assistant District Attorney from the York County District Attorney’s office, to attend the hearing with me.

The hearing held by Senator Yaw was an eye opener and highlighted the heroin crisis plaguing Pennsylvania.

At the hearing, I learned that Baltimore is the Heroin capital of the United States and downtown York is 55 miles from Baltimore.

It is important to recognize Senator Gene Yaw for his tireless efforts, holding hearings across Pennsylvania for the last three years educating people about the Heroin-Opioid epidemic.

Pennsylvania is very fortunate to have Senator Yaw, he is a true leader.

Driving on the way home from the hearing, Dave Sunday stated that York County needed to form a heroin task force as soon as possible.

Within a few weeks after attending the hearing in Reading, an effort was lead by the District Attorney’s office, the Coroner’s office, along with law enforcement officials, parents of victims and community leaders, to form the York County Heroin Task Force.

If you would like to learn more please click here to visit their website: http://www.herointaskforce.com/.

The York County Heroin Task Force has recently changed it’s name to the York Opioid Collaborative. Please click here to learn more: http://www.ydr.com/story/news/crime/2016/12/28/york-county-heroin-task-force-gets-new-name-leader/95906414/

The York Opioid Collaborative is one of many that have been formed around Pennsylvania.

Since the Task Force was formed, Assistant District Attorney Dave Sunday and York County Coroner Pam Gay have held dozens of town hall meetings throughout York County to inform the public of the prescription drug and heroin crisis.

The town hall meetings that have been held have been extremely well attended and the discussions and dialogue at the meetings has been eyeopening, informative, and helpful to deal with this drug crisis.

It baffles me that Governor Wolf, who claims that he lives in York County, would think that no one is doing anything about the opioid epidemic when a leading task force is doing great work right in our own community, and has been for almost three years.

It is also strange that we’ve never seen Governor Wolf at a Task Force meeting, and at this time I am not aware of him financially supporting the organization.

If Governor Wolf would like to learn more about the heroin and opioid crisis, he should meet with the Task Force since they’ve spent the last 3 years researching the problem and working with the community to come up with solutions to fight this crisis.

The Task Force was previously cited by the former Secretary of the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, Gary Tennis, as an example of how every county in the state should model their own heroin- drug addiction programs.

In York County, Dave Sunday and Pam Gay have been the dedicated energy behind the success of the Task Force.

Over the last two years many people have joined the Task Force.

The York County medical community has been an important and vital partner for the Task Force’s mission.

I am proud of all of the people in our community who have volunteered their time to be a part of the York Opioid Collaborative.

Thank you,

Scott Wagner