York to host hearing on heroin treatment efforts


The Center for Rural Pennsylvania will host on Tuesday a public hearing in York City on heroin and opioid treatment and recovery efforts.

The hearing will be held at the Yorktowne Hotel, 48 E. Market St., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., according to the office of state Sen. Gene Yaw, R-Lycoming County.

The hearing, which is open to the public, is part of a series of hearings aimed at receiving testimony about the heroin epidemic.

Three primary themes were mentioned during prior hearings: educating individuals to the dangers of opioid abuse; increasing the accessibility and availability for those seeking treatment; and providing law enforcement with the tools to help eradicate heroin from our communities, according to a news release from the center.

Numerous local officials, including coroner Pam Gay, chief deputy prosecutor Dave Sunday and York City Police Chief Wes Kahley, are expected to take part in the upcoming hearing.

As of July, there had been 17 confirmed heroin deaths in York County so far this year, with eight more pending deaths that are expected to involve heroin, according to the coroner's office.

In 2014, York County had 62 heroin and heroin-related deaths. Records from the coroner's office show that as of this time last year, there had been 29 heroin-related deaths.

According to coroner's office, 61 percent of the fatal heroin overdoses in 2014 happened in rural or suburban areas — including Hanover — while 39 percent occurred in York City.

— Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.