Lancaster to create anti-heroin task force

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Feb 1, 2016 3:24 AM

(Lancaster) -- It's been called the worst public health crisis in a generation.

Now, Lancaster County is creating a task force to address the heroin crisis.

It includes elected officials, members of the law enforcement community, health experts, and school superintendents.

Lancaster is far from the only county with a task force devoted to the issue - York's has been holding public meetings for more than a year.

Timothy Bradley Jr., mayor of Mount Joy, says he and others started talking about putting together the organization after hearing from police.

"It became evident that a law enforcement approach was not sufficient. That there needed to be some additional pieces and coming from the law enforcement community, they specifically voiced the need for prevention, awareness, and some other aspects as well," says Bradley Jr.

Bradley says the focus will be on raising awareness, and educating people about help that's already available.

"There's a commitment on the front end in terms of collaboration to say that we're welcoming many stakeholders to the table to have conversations about it, with the hope of coming up with some creative ways that might not work everywhere but might work within the system that Lancaster County has," he adds.

He says they've also talked with members of York's group and plan to use some of its more successful strategies.

The Lancaster County Anti-Heroin Task Force plans to hold monthly meetings.

At last check, Lancaster County was on pace in 2015 to far exceed its previous high for heroin overdose deaths.

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