Superintendent’s Message on Opioid Epidemic
FACT: In 2016, approximately 13 Pennsylvania citizens died everyday from an opioid overdose -- representing over 4,600 deaths that year.
FACT: Of the 67 counties in Pennsylvania, Beaver County had the third highest rate of death due to opioid overdose -- only Fulton County and Cambria County had higher death rates.
FACT: Beaver County had a higher death rate due to opioid overdose than Allegheny County and Philadelphia County.
FACT: There were 102 opioid overdose deaths in Beaver County alone in 2016.
This is what we call a public health crisis! These statistics represent an epidemic -- not just in the United States or in Pennsylvania, but right here in Beaver County. In an effort to help inform members of our communities about the dangers of opioid abuse, the DEA, FBI, District Attorney’s Office, Attorney General’s Office, Sheriff’s Office, and the 14 Beaver County Superintendents have joined forces and pooled our resources. This group has offered four community information nights this year, with the most recent informational evening held at Beaver Area High School in February.
The last event of the 2017-18 school year will be held at
Central Valley High School
5:30 PM until 8:00 PM.
During this evening event, you will hear the personal story of one addict who might initially remind you of your own child -- an athlete with a college sports scholarship, an honor roll student, an NHS inductee, and all around great kid. But a young person who found herself hooked on the prescription drugs that she was given for an injury. A young person whose addiction spiraled out of control until, less than 2 years after high school graduation, she found herself homeless, penniless, and addicted to heroin. Hear about the signs of addiction that her parents and everyone who loved her initially missed.
The Beaver County Anti-Drug Task force will have tables set up so that parents and community members can see what heroin, methamphetamine, fentanyl and many other drugs look like and how they are uniquely packaged and concealed. Ever wonder what a stamp bag looks like or why it is called a “stamp” bag? How much heroin is in a bundle and could you identify it if you saw it? The dedicated police officers on the Task force will be ready the explain these things and more to all those in attendance.
The opioid epidemic has affected many of us in a personal way -- whether the addict is a family member, a friend, or a co-worker. For this reason, we want you to be armed with both knowledge and resources. District Attorney Lozier will share about the “Act 53 Court” and the Beaver County Single-Point Authority, Kate Lowery, will share about mental health and addiction resources in the county. You will also learn how to use the dozens of prescription “Take-Back Boxes” in the county and what a difference this small change could make in saving lives.
Click here to learn more about the Parent/Community Night being held at Central Valley High School on May 16th from 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM.
I hope to see you there.