Information from Lehigh County Regarding Heroin Use:
Heroin related overdose deaths in Lehigh County are on the rise. According to the Lehigh County Drug and Alcohol office, 105 suspected drug related deaths in Lehigh County have occurred since January, 2016. A majority of these deaths are suspected to be heroin related and there is a higher than normal number of individuals accessing emergency rooms as a result of suspected heroin overdoses. The Lehigh County Drug and Alcohol Administrator has asked school districts to inform parents of the current trend of heroin use in the community. For further information, contact J. Layne Turner, Drug and Alcohol Administrator for Lehigh County at phone: 610.782.3558 or e-mail: J.LayneTurner@lehighcounty.org.
Background Information on Heroin:
- Opioids is the broader term which includes all substances with opium-like effects, including heroin, hydrocodone, and oxycodone, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, buprenorphine, and methadone. Heroin is both physically and psychologically highly addictive. It can be injected, inhaled or snorted, and is the fastest-acting opioid. Large doses of heroin can cause fatal respiratory depression.
- Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the US, with 47,055 lethal drug overdoses in 2014. Opioid addiction is driving this epidemic, with 18,893 overdose deaths related to prescription pain relievers, and 10,574 overdose deaths related to heroin in 2014. The rate of heroin overdose showed an average increase of 6% per year from 2000 to 2010, followed by a larger average increase of 37% per year from 2010 to 2013.
- In 2014, 467,000 adolescents were current nonmedical users of pain reliever, with 168,000 having an addiction to prescription pain relievers.
- In 2014, an estimated 28,000 adolescents had used heroin in the past year, and an estimated 16,000 were current heroin users. Additionally, an estimated 18,000 adolescents had heroin a heroin use disorder in 2014.
- The current epidemic is affecting students and families of all races, ethnic groups, ages, and income levels, including those from affluent families.
PREP~Prevention Resources and Education for Parents
Caron’s Student Assistance Program presents PREP, Prevention Resources and Education for Parents, a program designed for elementary and middle school parents. The program is facilitated by professionals in the field of addiction treatment.
Elementary Program– Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at 7:00 PM at Macungie Elementary School
Middle School Program –Tuesday, April 11, 2017 at 7:00 PM at Eyer Middle School
East Penn School District Press Releases:
East Penn plans on stocking schools with overdose-reversing medicine( The Morning Call)- Click here
East Penn to hold community forum on drug awareness (The Morning Call)- Click here
East Penn holds community forum on drug awareness (WFMZ)- Click here
Emmaus High School Mock Bedroom Challenge (The Morning Call)-Click here
Emmaus High School Mock Bedroom Challenge (WFMZ)- Click here
References and Resources:
- 54 Heroin Abuse or Addiction Warning Signs
- Heroin:Combating this Growing Epidemic in Pennsylvania Report
- Prescription Drugs Have Pushed Heroin Into the Suburbs
East Penn School District:
- Anonymous Tip Line: 610.966.8400
- Guide for Community Resources