Snyder to host Policy Committee hearing on opioid/heroin epidemic in Pa. on Tuesday

CARMICHAELS, Aug. 18 – State Rep. Pam Snyder, D-Greene/Fayette/Washington, will serve as host for a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing on the opioid and heroin epidemic in Pennsylvania from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 23, in the Jefferson Volunteer Fire Hall, 1483 Jefferson Road, Jefferson.

Requested by Snyder, the public hearing will be co-chaired by House Democratic Policy Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster.

"I urge public participation to learn more about the addiction epidemic that is wreaking havoc throughout Pennsylvania," said Snyder, one of four legislators named to a Joint State Government Commission Task Force charged with tackling opioid abuse. "The deaths and devastation from this scourge will not subside without a comprehensive response."

Snyder said the hearing will provide a local perspective on the magnitude of the problem and the strategies needed to counteract its deadly growth.

"The epidemic is affecting everyone and its effects were highlighted by the recent report that southwestern Pennsylvania had had the highest drug death rate – almost 33 deaths per 100,000 population – in the state last year," Snyder said. "Heroin and related opioids are at the root of the devastation."

The current agenda for Tuesday’s hearing is:

2 p.m. – Welcome and opening remarks

2:10 p.m. – Ashley Potts, team leader, Southwestern PA Human Services, Crisis Diversion Unit

2:30 p.m. -- Panel:
·         Farley Toothman, president judge, Greene County Court of Common Pleas
·         Kira Sisk, director, Greene County Drug and Alcohol Program
·         Peggy Fawcett, executive director, Transitional Employment Consultants

3:30 p.m. -- Closing remarks