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News

The Changing Face of Heroin - June BADA Meeting

Dave Reilly

The Berwick Anti-Drug Alliance will sponsor a presentation by the Borough of Berwick Police Department at the McBride Memorial Library, 500 North Market Street, Berwick, PA 18603. The program will be held on Monday, June 12, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. The program is titled” The Changing Face of Heroin.”

Berwick Police Department’s Chief Ken Strish will conduct this Borough of Berwick Police Department drug awareness presentation and will discuss the changing nature of heroin trafficking and the incidence of fentanyl.

Chief Ken Strish stated, “Our focus will look at the impact of synthetics like fentanyl and carfentanyl and how they have increased the possibility of overdose and death. It is important for the public to have this information because of the absolute dangers. Fentanyl is a game changer because it is so much stronger than morphine and heroin.”

The heroin-fentanyl mix has been with us for a long time. The Centers for Disease Control reported (July, 2008) that the mixture of heroin and fentanyl killed over 1,000 users from to 2005 to 2007. The profile of the characteristic victim: 35-54 years old (58.6 percent), male (80.1 percent) and white (55.4 percent). And in early 2014, a “public health crisis” was declared in the Pittsburgh area after 22 deaths were believed to be caused by a deadly mix of heroin and Fentanyl, labeled as Theraflu, Bud Ice, and Income Tax. 

Upcoming Meeting: Recovery From Both Sides

Dave Reilly

The Berwick Anti-Drug Alliance (BADA) will host a presentation titled “Recovery is Real” at the McBride Memorial Library, 500 Market Street, Berwick, PA.  The event will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, May 8, 2017.

Cathy Ryzner and Jason Harlen, CEO of the Wyoming Valley Alcohol and Drug Services will host the BADA program, which will explain recovery strategies for those struggling with addiction.  

According to Ryzner, “ This BADA program is important because Recovery is possible, real, and happening everyday. Society needs to understand that we are good people with a bad disease.”  

The Berwick Anti-Drug Alliance is a community-based, citizen-driven group providing resources dealing with the ongoing problem of substance abuse. The program is open to the public and is free of charge. Informational materials will be distributed. For more information on this event please contact Maxim Furek at (570) 542–7946

Max Furek and with guest speaker Cathy Ryzner at last evening’s Berwick Anti Drug Alliance meeting.

Max Furek and with guest speaker Cathy Ryzner at last evening’s Berwick Anti Drug Alliance meeting.

Narcan - Stemming the Tide of the Heroin Epidemic

Dave Reilly

Community Invited to Forum: “Stemming the Tide of the Heroin Epidemic”

 

The Berwick Anti-Drug Alliance (BADA) will host a presentation titled Stemming the Tide of the Heroin Epidemic at the McBride Memorial Library, 500 Market Street, Berwick, PA.  The event will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, April 10, 2017.

The BADA program will be hosted by Project Bald Eagle Executive Director, Steve Shope and will include training in the administration of the life-saving drug, Naloxone. Also known by its brand name, Narcan, PA legislators passed Act 139 in 2014 allowing all citizens to administer the drug with immunity. When administered in time, Naloxone will reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

According to Shope, “One in four people in our communities knows someone who is struggling with opioid addiction. We are all at risk and we all need to be prepared.”

The Berwick Anti-Drug Alliance is a community-based, citizen-driven group providing resources dealing with the ongoing problem of substance abuse. The program is open to the public and is free of charge. Informational materials will be distributed. For more information on this event please contact Rev John Baumgartner at (570) 759 2951 or (570) 204 2786.

Forum: Faith Based Recovery And You

Dave Reilly

The Berwick Anti-Drug Alliance (BADA) will conduct a presentation titled “Faith-Based Recovery and You” at the McBride Memorial Library, 500 Market Street, Berwick, PA. The event will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, March 13, 2017.

The BADA program will be hosted by Rev. John Baumgartner of Reformer’s Unanimous, and Arnold Lockman of Celebrate Recovery. The panel will discuss aspects of faith-based recovery and how it pertains to those struggling with addiction.

Dr. George Crabb, board certified internal medicine with a subspecialty in addiction medicine for over the last 15 years, suggests why true spirituality is successful because it deals with the core issues of the addiction problem. Faith-based addiction recovery not only deals with the physical and the psychological but also true-spirituality.

The Berwick Anti-Drug Alliance is a community-based, citizen-driven group providing resources dealing with the ongoing problem of substance abuse. The program is open to the public and is free of charge. Informational materials will be distributed. For more information on this event please contact Maxim Furek at (570) 542-7946 or McBride Memorial Library at (570) 752-2241.

Drug Paraphernalia And Our Community

Dave Reilly

The Berwick Anti-Drug Alliance will conduct a presentation at the McBride Memorial Library, 500 Market Street, Berwick, PA. The informational program will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, January 9, 2017. The program is titled “Drug Paraphernalia And Our Community.” 

WHLM's Director of New Media, Dave Reilly stated, “We cannot keep turning a blind eye to the drug problem in our community, and this program will provide important information for individuals, families and educators concerned with the dangers of drug paraphernalia and new drug trends.” Dave will be presenting a slide-show of pictures of drug paraphernalia currently being sold in Bloomsburg and Berwick, how it's presented to our youth, and what we might be able to do about it. All interested parties are invited to attend.

The Berwick Anti-Drug Alliance is a community-based, citizen-driven group, raising awareness about issues of substance abuse and addiction. The program is open to the public and is free of charge. Informational materials will be distributed. 

For more information on this event please contact Maxim Furek at (570) 542-7946 or McBride Memorial Library at (570) 752-2241.

Coming Clean: The Drug Crisis

Dave Reilly

The Drug Crisis in Columbia County and surrounding areas has hit a fever pitch, with a record setting 21 fatal drug overdoses in 2016 alone. Rehabs are full, the county coroner is buying more body bags, and people are sick of losing their sons, daughters, husbands and wives to this epidemic. That is why NEWSRADIO WHLM had a week-long segment on the WHLM Morning Buzz called "Coming Clean: The Drug Crisis" that ran from 8:30-9:00 am October 24th-28th. WHLM took a detailed look at the drug crisis with area experts, in order to expose just how bad this epidemic is. They looked at the crisis from different angles: Law Enforcement, Criminal Justice, Mental Health, Emergency Medicine, and through the lens of History and Politics.

You cal listen to the radio program on WHLM's Soundcloud page or right here:

Berwick Police Reveal Collaborative Effort in Drug War

Dave Reilly

The Berwick Anti-Drug Alliance will sponsor a presentation by the Borough of Berwick Police Department at the McBride Memorial Library, 500 North Market Street, Berwick, PA. The program will be held on Monday, November 14, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. The program is titled “Keeping Our Streets Safe.”

The Borough of Berwick Police Department takes a proactive approach in keeping our community informed, partly through drug awareness presentations.  This program will be conducted by Berwick Police Department’s Chief Ken Strish, and will include participants from the Attorney General’s office.

Spokesman Ken Strish stated, “Our focus will be on how the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigations have made a major impact with combating the manufacturing and distribution of narcotics in Berwick. The idea is to share the knowledge of what it takes to secure funding for an OCDETF investigation, discuss the benefits/challenges of running multi-agency investigations and the nitty-gritty of the investigation; as told by the investigators. The Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General and its resources have proven to be a colossal asset with assisting this police department’s fight against drugs and this combined effort should be recognized and understood. ”

The Berwick Anti-Drug Alliance is a community-based, citizen-driven group providing resources to deal with the ongoing problem of substance abuse. The program is open to the public and free of charge. Informational materials will be distributed. For more information on this event please contact Maxim Furek at (570)-542-7946. 

Blended Staff Program Scheduled For Berwick’s BADA

Dave Reilly

The Berwick Anti-Drug Alliance will conduct a presentation and panel discussion at the McBride Memorial Library, 500 Market Street, Berwick, PA. The program will be held on Monday, October 10, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. The program is titled “CMSU’S Blended Program. Why is Prevention So Important?”

The educational program will be conducted by Columbia Montour Snyder Union County Prevention Specialists: Allison Wilson, Jared Curry, Jill Bruder, Jen Flick and Stephanie Baker.

Wilson stated, “Research shows that the earlier an individual starts smoking, drinking or using other drugs, the greater the likelihood of developing addiction. People who begin using addictive substances before age 15 are nearly seven times likelier to develop a substance abuse problem than those who delay first use until age 21 or older. ”

The Blended Program Staff provides school-based prevention and intervention services and work to increase protective factors and eliminate or reduce risk factors for drug use. If we can prevent youth from early use of drugs or alcohol we can reduce the risk of addiction.

The Berwick Anti-Drug Alliance is a community-based, citizen-driven group providing resources to deal with the ongoing problem of substance abuse. The program is open to the public and is free of charge.

For more information on this event please contact Maxim Furek at (570)-542- 7946 or McBride Memorial Library at (570) 752-2241. 

Michael DeLeon - Steered Straight on WHLM Radio

Dave Reilly

On Tuesday, September 20th, following the FED UP! rally in Washington D.C., Newsradio WHLM invited Michael DeLeon onto the Morning Buzz. Michael founded a program called Steered Straight, which goes into middle and high schools, educating the students and raising awareness to the growing drug epidemic here in America.

Michael shares his story with us, as well as some ideas on how to fight this battle, especially within middle and high schools... Listen below!

Blended Staff Program Scheduled For Berwick’s BADA

Dave Reilly

The Berwick Anti-Drug Alliance will conduct a presentation and panel discussion at the McBride Memorial Library, 500 Market Street, Berwick, PA. The program will be held on Monday, October 10, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. The program is titled “CMSU’S Blended Program.  Why is Prevention So Important?” 

The educational program will be conducted by Columbia Montour Snyder Union County Prevention Specialists: Allison Wilson, Jared Curry, Jill Bruder, Jen Flick and Stephanie Baker.

Wilson stated, “Research shows that the earlier an individual starts smoking, drinking or using other drugs, the greater the likelihood of developing addiction.  People who begin using addictive substances before age 15 are nearly seven times likelier to develop a substance abuse problem than those who delay first use until age 21 or older. ”

The Blended Program Staff provides school-based prevention and intervention services and work to increase protective factors and eliminate or reduce risk factors for drug use.  If we can prevent youth from early use of drugs or alcohol we can reduce the risk of addiction.

The Berwick Anti-Drug Alliance is a community-based, citizen-driven group providing resources to deal with the ongoing problem of substance abuse. The program is open to the public and is free of charge.

For more information on this event please contact Maxim Furek at (570)-542-7946 or McBride Memorial Library at (570) 752-2241. 

Medical Marijuana Interview on WHLM Radio

Dave Reilly

This morning, Tony Coder of the Drug Free Action Alliance joined the Morning Buzz to discuss the recent legalization of marijuana for medical use in the state of Pennsylvania. Take a listen below:

Judge James speaks on Drug Court Program

Dave Reilly

The Berwick Anti-Drug Alliance will host a panel discussion at the McBride Memorial Library, 500 Market Street, Berwick, PA. The program will be held on Monday, August 8, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. The program is titled “The Positive Impact of the Drug Court System.” 

Columbia / Montour President Judge Thomas A. James and Barb Warunek, Director of the Columbia Drug Court will lead the program. 

Drug courts are problem-solving, court-based programs that target criminal offenders and parents with pending child welfare cases who have alcohol and other drug addiction and dependency problems. Barb Warunek stated, “Drug Courts significantly reduce drug use and crime and are more cost-effective than any other proven criminal justice strategy.” 

The Berwick Anti-Drug Alliance is a community-based, citizen-driven group providing resources to deal with the ongoing problem of substance abuse. The program is open to the public and is free of charge. 

For more information on this event please contact Maxim Furek at (570)-542-7946

Grandparents Raising Kids Program at BADA

Dave Reilly

The Berwick Anti-Drug Alliance will conduct a presentation and panel discussion at the McBride Memorial Library, 500 Market Street, Berwick, PA. The program will be held on Monday, July 11, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. The program is titled “ Grandparents Raising Kids in 2016 ”

The educational program will be conducted by Louise Grove and will include Brenda Saba, and Tracy and John Calomino.

Grove stated, “Across the United States, more than 6 million children are being raised in households headed by grandparents and other relatives; 2.5 million children are in these households without any parents present. This number is raising daily. These statistics are caused mostly by addicted parents of the children. These situations have caused the retirements of most retirement age adults to put retirement on hold to support their grandchildren.” 

It is estimated that in Pennsylvania there are 191,000 children being raised by 80,000 grandparents, striving to keep their families together in a safe and nurturing environment.

The Berwick Anti-Drug Alliance is a community-based, citizen-driven group providing resources to deal with the ongoing problem of substance abuse. The program is open to the public and is free of charge.

Informational materials will be distributed. For more information on this event please contact Maxim Furek at (570)-542- 7946 or McBride Memorial Library at (570) 752-2241.

Police find bullet-proof vests/weapons in morning drug bust...

Dave Reilly

Reblogged From The Press Enterprise - Last updated: June 1, 2016 - 6:59pm

BERWICK — Officers were prepared for trouble when they raided what they say was a large-scale heroin den early Wednesday morning.

The Columbia-Montour SWAT team and agents from the Office of the Attorney General rolled up to the half double at 805 Chestnut St. around 7 a.m. with a Bearcat armored vehicle and helmeted officers carrying rifles, neighbors said. 

In the end, the five people they arrested were taken into custody without incident, said Berwick Police Chief Kenneth Strish.

But officers say they found 95 bags of heroin inside the house, loose heroin and 34 bags of suspected Molly — a synthetic form of the stimulant Ecstasy. They also found weapons, bullet proof vests, and cash, the chief said.

Some familiar faces

Among those arrested were Terrell “Trouble” Slaughter, 28, who overdosed on heroin at least twice over the past few years and had to be revived. He was wanted by adult probation officers even before the latest incident, police said. Slaughter also served state prison time for robbery in 2006, according to court records.

Jermaine “Mack” Raheim Wilson, 23, was arrested as an alleged co-conspirator. Wilson had no previous criminal history as an adult, said police. But Wilson admitted to having a juvenile record.

The two men lived together at 805 N. Chestnut, according to court papers.

Britney Lea Lockard, 18, was arrested as well. Her only previous record as an adult is a pending shoplifting case in Hemlock Township, according to court records. But she had been seen at previous busts, officers told the judge. And though she gave her address as 409 S. Main St., Wapwallopen, police said she had been living at the Chestnut Street house.

Tia Marie Fenstermacher, of 1911 Montour Blvd., Danville, made the mistake of celebrating her 25th birthday at the house when it was raided Wednesday, said officers.

Felicia Lea Cressinger, 25, of 124 B Cemetery St., Berwick, was also arrested at the house.

Informant: Drug supplied through New York

A confidential informant claimed to be buying bundles of 10 bags of heroin regularly from Slaughter and Lockard, according to a search warrant filed by Detective Brandon Shultz.

The pair were going to New York about once a week to restock both heroin and marijuana, the informant added.

Columbia County Adult Probation officers also reported Slaughter’s supply trips to New York. He was getting the drug in loose form, then spooning it into smaller bags for sale, according to the search warrant.

Around May 30, Slaughter and Lockard allegedly contacted an informant and offered to sell him or her heroin; they had just returned to Berwick with a fresh supply. 

A controlled buy

So police said they set up a controlled buy, surreptitiously following Lockard as she left the house, met the informant near East Ninth and Chestnut Street, then went back to the house, police said.

The informant returned to police carrying heroin, according to officers. That was enough to secure a search warrant.

Nodding off in court

During the raid, police said they found the drugs as well as a Springfield Armory .45-caliber handgun, several electronic scales, syringes, straws, and money, though they didn’t say how much cash.

The three women admitted to buying heroin for personal use from the two men, according to charges. Lockard also allegedly admitted to selling heroin to her friends to support her own habit.

At his arraignment, Slaughter appeared to be nodding off. He answered questions slowly and sat with his eyes closed as District Judge Richard Knecht asked him about his history.

“Are the answers on the back of your eyelids?” the judge finally asked. “What’s with your eyes closed? Are you sick?”

“I’m just very tired, sir,” Slaughter answered. “I am a little sick.”

He was addicted to drugs, he said. When the judge asked if he was addicted to heroin, Slaughter replied, “I guess you might say.”

He’d recently worked at Amazon for eight or nine months, he said. Before that, he worked doing construction with his father in Harrisburg, he told the judge.

Drug suspect clad in DARE shirt

Wilson said he had been working at Amazon, too, before getting a job at Sykes Enterprises for the past two or three months.

When asked about whether he had a heroin addiction, he told the judge, “not so much.” He was, however, “a little bit” addicted to cocaine as well as alcohol, he said.

“Is there anyone you want to call?” the judge asked.

“Jesus,” Wilson sighed, before saying he couldn’t call anyone since his phone had been taken, along with all the phone numbers of people he knew.

Lockard was brought into the courtroom wearing a DARE anti-drug T-shirt officers had given her to keep her warm after her arrest.

Her parents live locally, she said, but she didn’t know if they were aware she was in custody. She couldn’t call them, she said. She didn’t know their numbers.

Detective Brandon Shultz said she faced methamphatamine-related charges as a juvenile. She admitted being addicted to heroin.

She has no job, she said, though she once worked at a restaurant.

She’s never been arraigned before, she told the judge.

“This is not a good way to start your 18th year,” Knecht told her.

Only call to employer

Cressinger said she has a 5-year-old daughter living with her mother, who had come to the magistrate’s office looking for her after hearing about her arrest.

She has been arrested on meth-manufacturing charges before, she said. But more recently, she had been working at Thompson’s Mailing though One Source temp agency, she said. 

Fenstermacher said she also had a daughter, 6, being raised by her mother. Her mother didn’t know she’d been arrested, she added.  

Her head drooped as she was arraigned, and her speech was slow.

But when asked if she wanted to make a phone call, she said she wanted to call KFC, where she works, to tell them she wouldn’t be in.

“I just got out of rehab like, two weeks ago,” she said.

She’s addicted to heroin, she told the judge.

She had been arrested before and is on probation for heroin possession with intent to deliver.

She also admitted warrants had previously been issued against her for failing to show up for other cases, including domestic issues.

Bail set

Strish said police learned about possible drug dealings at the house from both tips from the public and other sources.

Strish said intelligence, along with the fact that the department is short-handed, led him to ask the SWAT team to help with the Berwick Police Department with the raid.

Slaughter and Wilson are both charged with possessing heroin and Molly with the intent to deliver them, drug possession, and conspiracy. Knecht set their bails at $150,000 each.

Lockard is charged with possessing heroin with the intent to deliver it, drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. Her bail was $50,000.

Fenstermacher and Cressinger were charged with possessing heroin and drug paraphernalia. Fenstermacher’s bail was set at $50,000. Cressinger’s bail was $10,000.

All five were sent to Columbia County Prison.

Their preliminary hearings are all set for 2:30 p.m. June 13 before Knecht.

Susan Schwartz covers the Berwick area. She can be reached at 570-752-3646 and susan.schwartz@pressenterprise.net, or followed on Twitter at https://twitter.com/PESueSchwartz.

 

Innovative Police Program Scheduled For Berwick’s BADA

Dave Reilly

The Berwick Anti-Drug Alliance will conduct a presentation at the titled “Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative”. The Meeting will be held at the McBride Memorial Library on Monday, June 13, 2016 at 6:00 pm.

The innovative program will be presented by the Berwick Police Department’s Police Chief Ken Strish and members of the regional anti-drug coalition.

Strish stated, “The Borough of Berwick Police Department have joined the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative, partnering with several other law enforcement agencies nationally on this new initiative. The initiative is intended to bring law enforcement, mental health professionals and substance abuse health care professionals together to ensure that any individual voluntarily seeking rehabilitation receives that care and treatment they deserve immediately.”

The Berwick Anti-Drug Alliance is a community-based, citizen-driven group providing resources to deal with the ongoing problem of substance abuse. The program is open to the public and is free of charge. Informational materials will be distributed. For more information on this event please contact Maxim Furek at (570)-542-7946 or McBride Memorial Library at (570) 752-2241.

Drug Forum - Shamokin, PA // May 19, 2016

Dave Reilly

There was a decent turnout at the Shamokin High School in Northumberland County. People came to hear about the problems of heroin and opioid abuse. The forum was hosted by state Representative Lynda Culver of Sunbury... with one of the speakers Deb Beck of the Drug and Alcohol Service Providers Organization of PA. The biggest problem, says Ms. Beck, is a lack of treatment facilities. Meantime, State Senator John Gordner of Berwick telling WHLM News that Governor Wolf is taking a keen interest in the problem as it makes it's way across Pennsylvania.

Here are some information sheets that were given out at the meeting last night:

Coroners Report

Dave Reilly

Local Numbers

Out of 120 deaths in Columbia County, 16 were related to the use of drugs.

13% of caseload related to drugs.

All deaths were ruled either suicidal or accidental.

Columbia County Coroners Office investigated more drug deaths than vehicle crashes in 2014 and 2015.

2016-5*

2015-16 50% Increase

2014-8 38% Increase

2013-5

*[4 still pending tox screen]

 

Top 5 Drugs found in decedents in Columbia County:

1. Oxycontin

2. Methamphetamine

3. Heroin

4. Fentanyl

5. RX anti-anxiety overdose (Benzos)

 

Number of overdoses by municipality:

Berwick-7

Bloomsburg-2

Cleveland Township-2

Scott Township-1

Briar Creek-1

Pine Township-1

Conyngham Township-1

Statewide

In 2014, 2,500 drug overdose deaths statewide. 7 people died every day in Pennsylvania that year.

 

Leading opiates in decedents in Pennsylvania were Oxycontin, Fentanyl and Oxymorphone. All Prescription drugs…

 

800 decedents were found with heroin in their system.

418 were found with cocaine in their system.

205 were found with marijuana in their system.

 

Countless other overdoses and suicides go un-reported

 

Ages of decedents from drug overdose range from 4 months old to 85 years old in 2014.

Average decedents in Pennsylvania were white, 41 year old males.

Most deaths are the result of multiple Prescription drugs or Prescription drugs combined with heroin or cocaine [Never just one].

Most deaths occur on Weekends and Wednesdays.

DEA Intel:

In 2011 PA Ranked 7th nationwide in distribution of hydrocodone. 

In 2012 PA Ranked 5th nationwide in distribution of hydrocodone

In 2013 PA Ranked 6th nationwide in distribution of hydrocodone

In 2014 PA Ranked 4th nationwide in distribution of hydrocodone

 

In 2014 PA Ranked 11th in Pharmacies ordering Vicodin

 

In 2011 PA ranked 4th in the nation for Physicians prescribing Oxycodone

In 2012 PA ranked 1st in the nation for Physicians prescribing Oxycodone

In 2013 PA ranked 1st in the nation for Physicians prescribing Oxycodone

In 2014 PA ranked 1st in the nation for Physicians prescribing Oxycodone

In 2014 PA Ranked number 1 in the nation for Pharmacies ordering oxycodone.

 

50 Fentanyl Overdose deaths in PA in 2013.