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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Local Law Enforcement hold Public Forum on The Drug Epidemic in Pa

On April 11, 2017, a public forum was held at the Galeton School on the drug epidemic in Pennsylvania. The purpose of the presentation was to provide education and answer questions concerning the abuse of illegal drugs, specifically heroin. District Attorney Andy Watson, Drug Task Force Member and Chief of the Galeton Borough Police Department Christopher Brackman, and Trooper Michael Delp spoke at the event, which was attended by approximately 40-50 people. Members of the public also spoke in regards to their personal stories of being an addict or a family member of an addict and how it affected them.

Chief Brackman spoke in regards to some of the signs that may exist if a person is abusing heroin and the culture of heroin abuse. Trooper Michael Delp spoke on marijuana addictions and the fact that it is a gateway drug to the abuse of narcotic substances. Also, overdose can occur where marijuana is ingested through foods or where it is smoked in conjunction with other drugs being added to the marijuana.

District Attorney Andy Watson provided much data on drug overdoses nationally and in Pennsylvania. According to a 2015 report, prior to all of the Pennsylvania Coroner’s reports being received, there were 3,383 overdose deaths in Pennsylvania equating to nine people per day. Of this number, 81% of the deaths were opiate related. After receipt of the Pennsylvania Coroner’s reports, the 2015 total was 3,505 overdoses in 2015, or about 10 people per day. Watson also spoke in regards to some of the efforts that have been put in place to help battle the problem in Potter County. Some of these efforts include the local Drug Task Force, the C.L.E.A.N. Protocol, DUI and Drug Treatment Courts, the use of Naloxone/Narcan to reverse overdose affects, prescription medication take back boxes throughout the County, and a new pretrial diversionary program.

Watson urged those in attendance to openly talk about the C.L.E.A.N. Protocol in their community and throughout the County. C.L.E.A.N. stands for Concerned Law Enforcement Against Narcotics, implemented in 2016. The Protocol provides that any person who approaches a Law Enforcement Officer or Official and reports their addiction or need for help, even if they turn over drugs or drug paraphernalia in their possession, will not be investigated or charged and no questions will be asked. Instead, the Law Enforcement Officer or Official will immediately assist the individual in obtaining a referral to Potter County Drug and Alcohol Abuse Services to obtain appropriate counseling for their addiction. This Protocol is a means of public outreach to work with addicts to get immediate help and not fear criminal prosecution in asking for that help. The exception to the policy to no prosecution is where an individual is already charged with a crime or is under current investigation by the Drug Task Force for drug activity. This is to help avoid if a potential target of the Drug Task Force is dealing drugs and finds out that they are the potential target for an ongoing investigation or an immediate controlled buy and they approach Law Enforcement to ask for help to avoid imminent arrest.
The C.L.E.A.N. Protocol continues to gain support in Potter County and referrals have been made in the past year under the Protocol where people have obtained immediate treatment and help by Law Enforcement. Anyone who is interested or needs more information on the C.L.E.A.N. Protocol or any other initiatives taken in Potter County on the heroin epidemic can contact District Attorney Andy Watson at 814-274-9450, Director of Drug and Alcohol Services Colleen Wilber or approach any Law Enforcement Officer.

The District Attorney thanks the Galeton Borough council, the Galeton Area School District, Chief Brackman, and the staff at the Potter County District Attorney’s Office for helping organize this important event.

14 comments :

Anonymous said...

Finally, someone saying pot can be a Problem! Everyone denied this could ever lead to other drugs, or cause impairment while driving. That you for your efforts on drug use, I for one am very grateful. Drugs do kill!

Anonymous said...

Wow.. get an education

Anonymous said...

Why are saying to 8:16 get an education ? You need to read the side effects of Marijuana & drugs!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Alcohol is the worst most powerful of all drugs yet its legal. Hmmm!

Anonymous said...

Pot doesn't kill. It just makes you retarded.

Anonymous said...

Ok folks as a 60 year old women who has drank and smoked pot since about the age of 20, i can tell you alcohol is much more addictive than pot! I do not drink anymore, but smoke pot on occasion still. It's not a gateway drug in my opinion and should not be labeled as one. It never led me to want heroin or any other kind of opiods. What leads people to wanting other drugs is weak minds and no willpower to control the curiosity that leads them to do other drugs on a daily basis. These meetings would be much more informative and much more productive if they would include X addicts and maybe folks who still partake on occasion to inform the public. We certainly do have a problem in this area and nationwide. I blame some of this on the way these people were raised. People my age should be ashamed of how they have raised their children and what those children have become.

Anonymous said...

And there you have it folks, 60 year old proof that Marijuana does kill brain cells.

Anonymous said...

I sure wouldn't be proud!!!

Anonymous said...

No way 10:00 AM, I am so sick of people implying it is my fault my kid turned out the way he did. I don't drink, don't do drugs and have never been in trouble with the law, so his actions were not learned at home. It took years for me to stop blaming myself. Kids these days have all these reality idiots on TV showing them the good life and if they are living that way then their life sucks. But these kids don’t want to work and want to try the next drug to try to escape the miserable existance their lazy broke ass parents have saddled them with. (yes, I have worked all my life but I am not rich to provide a life where my kid doesn’t have to work). So do not sweep everyone together as bad parents if their kids have done wrong. Obviously, if you have kids and they saw you drinking and smoking weed I would say YOU were a bad mother.

Anonymous said...

Amen 1:28, totally agree with you...

You don't blame it on how people were raised, my siblings & myself had a bad childhood, & none of us do alcohol, drugs or weed! And if I did I sure wouldn't be on here telling the world!!!

Anonymous said...

Side effects of Marijuana;
Short term memory loss,
Hallicinations,
Anxiety, panic,
Paronia,
Increase of stroke,
Lowered reaction time,
Problems with cordination, also impairs driving.........

Anonymous said...

Hard to believe that in 2017 people are so ill informed about drugs and drug addiction. The report above says that 81% of overdose deaths were opiate related, you know why marijuana is not mentioned in that statistic? Because marijuana has never killed anyone. There has been, and will never be a single marijuana overdose death because it is medically impossible. This is not true of alcohol or nicotine for that matter. Also the marijuana as a gateway drug has long been disproven. The truth was and is that money is the gateway. People have to break the law to sell marijuana (in this state at least) and the profit potential for marijuana is much lower than with other harder drugs. So they expand their inventory and push the harder stuff to their customers. This does not, and can not happen in a legal state because the police would raid the store. Get informed, addiction is not a crime, people commit crimes to support their addiction. Addiction is a health issue and should be treated as such. Take some time to read current research and educate yourselves about drugs and drug addiction, and discover why marijuana is different and should not be included. It is safer than alcohol. Happy 420!

Anonymous said...

Just the side affects of pot is enough to turn anyone off!! I WANT NO PART OF IT!

Anonymous said...

None of the ones listed above are accurate. Take a few minutes and just Google medical marijuana research, you will be surprised.