school bus artWe don’t want to scare you, but the drug situation today is not like when you were a kid. Teenagers are exposed to much more potent, powerful drugs. They are easier to obtain and cost less. The distribution systems are very sophisticated and hiding drugs is easier than ever. And, perhaps most importantly, using drugs like marijuana or Adderall, and drinking alcohol to excessive levels, are more socially accepted.  Below are some disturbing “trends” data that we will share more of in our parent-to-parent workshops. the video below was shown at the recent “Heart of a champion Awards” event at the Indiana County Country Club March 24th, 2018.

OD death rates for Indiana County graphCambria, Armstrong and Indiana Counties had three of the four highest drug overdose death rates in Pennsylvania  These rural communities, ill-equipped and caught off-guard, have seen staggering increases in drug use and drug overdose deaths. Indiana County alone, for example, has seen a 464 percent increase in overdose deaths (2013-14 vs. 2015-16). Drugs have also increased in the schools. In a 2015 state-wide survey of schools (PAYS), drug use is up. For example, Indiana County high school students revealed a higher rate of early use of alcohol and narcotics than the state-wide average. 

ambulance OD visits graphA major cause of these overdose deaths is heroin and related substances like fentanyl. Over the past few months, Citizen’s Ambulance Service, (the EMS provider for Indiana County) has reported an exponential rise in heroin-related responses.

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