Bret Jaspers / WSKG News


The shuttered Broome Developmental Center has drawn significant community interest as a possible place for more addiction treatment and related services. But the kind of treatment facility may be a sticking point.

The prescription drug crisis may be particularly acute in some rural counties in the midstate; new data shows Perry and Franklin counties are outliers. More than three percent of children who responded to a 2015 state survey in those two counties said they abused prescription drugs within the past 30 days. In every other part of the region, the number hovered around two percent or lower.  

Ben Allen, WITF

The latest version of the Senate GOP health care bill includes about $45 billion for opioid treatment. But experts are warning more people will die if the bill is approved. Jennifer Smith, Acting Secretary of the state Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, acknowledges that $45 billion in treatment money sounds big. 

One of the state's signature initiatives to address the opioid crisis initially got off to a rocky start. But enrollment at the so-called Centers of Excellence is starting to rebound. In the midst of an opioid crisis of unprecedented proportions, just 89 people addicted to opioids were seen at the centers in the midstate in January. 

Ellen Abbott, WRVO

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - The continuing opioid crisis in central New York is forcing one Syracuse-area agency to expand services. The expansion will allow ACR Health to serve more individuals addicted to opioids in its Drug Users Health Hub. 


ROCHESTER (WXXI) - At a time when opioid abuse is on the rise, officials say there's a growing need for forensic pathologists, or Medical Examiners. Senator Charles Schumer was at the Monroe County Medical Examiner's Office Thursday to announce his support for a fellowship program that will train University of Rochester doctoral residents to become M.E.'s. 

The heroin crisis - which has stretched for more than three years - has touched thousands of families. New data shows it's stressing the state's hospitals. Last year, more than 1,500 people were admitted to hospitals in Pennsylvania for heroin overdoses. Just two years earlier, it was less than 950. 

Katie Meyer

State Attorney General Josh Shapiro says he's investigating opioid manufacturers, along with attorneys general in at least 25 other states. The announcement comes after other states and counties have filed lawsuits alleging pharmaceutical companies helped create the crisis. 


(Harrisburg) -- A bill in the state Senate could make it more difficult to get some kinds of treatments for opioid addiction. And there are also questions about who is pushing the bill. State Senator Camera Bartolotta of Washington County proposed the legislation, which requires addiction doctors tell patients about all their options. 

Ben Allen, WITF

Debbie Friday's daughter is in Indiana County jail, waiting for a sentence after violating probation for crimes related to her heroin addiction. Friday - who works full-time as a nurse - has been left to take care of her four grandchildren. It's just another example of the ripple effects of the opioid crisis in Pennsylvania. 

Tom Magnarelli, WRVO

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - New medication-assisted treatment programs are opening across central New York to keep up with the opioid epidemic. The demand for the treatment is so high that a group of clinics is coming together in an effort to get the programs off the ground. 

Bret Jaspers / WSKG News

When people in Tompkins County need help with withdrawal symptoms, they have to go elsewhere.

AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris

A demonstration of what a supervised injection facility for heroin users would look like has been making its way across cities in New York state. The sites would allow someone to use the drug under medical supervision. To make it a reality, the state would need a new law. 

Bret Jaspers / WSKG News

Safe or supervised consumption sites are places where people addicted to drugs can use drugs under the supervision of medical staff - and without fear of arrest. They're illegal in New York, but Ithaca gained national attention last year when it proposed one.

frankieleon / Flickr

Pennsylvania has secured a federal grant to help in the fight against drug overdose deaths. More than $26 million will be used for treatment programs. The state says it will use the money to provide treatment to 6,000 uninsured or underinsured people. It plans to set up 8 treatment hubs with physicians and other medical professionals, along with people who can provide help in the community. 

Pamela Post / WSKG Public Media

ROCHESTER (WXXI) - A group of health care providers, drug reform advocates and former users next Monday will roll out a controversial plan in the battle against the heroin epidemic.


A state House panel has approved a proposal to provide some help to those trying to stop drug overdose deaths. But some are also concerned the measure creates other problems. Sponsored by Republican Representative Matt Baker of Tioga County, the bill would allow medical experts to force someone who has overdosed to stay in treatment for up to 72 hours

Ben Allen, WITF

(Elizabethville, Dauphin County) -- For people trying to recover from addiction to opioids like heroin, living in a rural area can add more stress. The concerns at a town hall in the rural northern Dauphin County community of Elizabethville came from two directions. 

Schumer Supports Bill That Combats Opioid Abuse

Apr 12, 2017

ROCHESTER (WXXI) - U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer was in Rochester Tuesday to announce his support for a bill that would boost federal resources in the fight against opioid use. 

Bret Jaspers / WSKG News

Getting access to treatment for addiction can be hard. The advocacy group Truth PHARM recently surveyed people in the region who’ve dealt with opioid addiction and then struggled to find help. 

Lindsey Lazarski / Keystone Crossroads

Governor Tom Wolf and the Republican-led Legislature have worked to deal with the opioid crisis in the past year. Now, a legislator is proposing a set of bills once again. Republican Representative Aaron Kaufer of Luzerne County is re-introducing legislation to help in the fight to save lives from opioid overdoses

PA's Top Anti-Drug Official Fired

Jan 25, 2017

(Harrisburg) -- The state's top anti-drug official is out. Governor Tom Wolf has dismissed the Secretary of Drug and Alcohol Programs, Gary Tennis. The move came just hours after the Reading Eagle reported emails show Tennis pushed a job applicant to meet with a lobbyist to get a stamp of approval

AP Photo/Carla K. Johnson

(Harrisburg) -- As Pennsylvania grapples with the opioid crisis, the battle could get be getting even tougher. If the federal Affordable Care Act is repealed, tens of thousands of people may not have access to drug and alcohol treatment.

Bret Jaspers / WSKG News


Broome County Executive Jason Garnar today officially called the area’s opioid epidemic a “public health emergency.” 

Pennsylvania is making more treatment available for people dealing with addiction to heroin or other opioids. So-called Centers of Excellence have started to open, and more are expected to start operating in January. The centers are located at clinics that are already running in the midstate - from TW Ponessa in Lancaster to Pennsylvania Counseling Services in Chambersburg. 


(Harrisburg) The state says 150 people released from jail will receive help in fighting their drug addiction. The Department of Corrections is awarding $1.5 million to county agencies to provide medication assisted treatment. 

frankieleon / Flickr

(Harrisburg, PA) A counselor at a public school in the midstate says he and his colleagues are well positioned to address the opioid crisis. Stephen Sharp, a counselor in Landisville Middle School in Lancaster County, is pushing for more school counselors to use a model most often used by healthcare professionals. The model is called SBIRT, and it treats substance abuse as a healthcare issue.

Looking At Addiction As A Health Crisis

Dec 1, 2016
Jessica Kourkounis for Keystone Crossroads

(Keystone Crossroads) For the past 20 years, Rep. Gene DiGirolamo, R-Bucks, has been a vocal advocate for drug and alcohol rehabilitation in Pennsylvania. And he’s been pushing the public and lawmakers to stop looking at addiction as a crime. 

Ben Allen, WITF

A package of bills recently signed into law by Governor Wolf takes aim at the opioid crisis. They'll restrict how many opioids you can get, and add more checks for prescribers.One law limits opioid prescriptions for patients discharged from the emergency room. 

frankieleon / Flickr

The opioid and drug addiction crisis has killed about 7,000 Pennsylvanians in the past two years. For the first time since the epidemic erupted, the state Legislature has approved a package of bills to try to prevent more people from getting addicted.