The organizers of the recent anti-heroin rally deserve our thanks for helping to fight back against the frightening rise in heroin-related deaths. By sharing stories of their families' struggle, they are increasing awareness of drugs in our communities.

I was especially moved by the organizers' message that "heroin does not discriminate" — a message that York County Coroner Pam Gay drove home when she reported that 26 people have died in York County from heroin-related deaths through the end of June. That represents a 189 percent increase over the nine deaths that were reported during that same time last year.

Drug Free Pennsylvania — a statewide, nonprofit agency — can help. We work throughout our commonwealth to help create healthier communities by educating individuals of all ages and providing workplace solutions through programs that prevent substance abuse.

Our Straight Talk for Parents seminar educates parents and caregivers about emerging drug trends and signs and symptoms of drug use. Parents have a powerful influence on their children, and the goal of this seminar is to help them develop communication skills to start the conversation about drugs, tobacco and alcohol. This program is free and can be scheduled at your school, house of worship or community center.


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We welcome the opportunity to help those in your community — like Vickie Glatfelter, whose son died this past April from a fentanyl overdose — who are working to curb substance abuse. Please visit Drug Free Pennsylvania at www.drugfreepa.org, or call us at (717) 232-0300.

CHRISTIE WENTZ

Executive director

Drug Free Pennsylvania