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Series: Central Pennsylvania's Heroin Epidemic

Written by Tim Lambert, witf Multimedia News Director | Feb 1, 2016 12:33 PM

WITF's series on the central Pennsylvania's drug addiction crisis, "Real Life, Real Issues: Drugs and young people" examined the sweeping effects of the heroin epidemic that has swept not only the region, but the state, and the country.

It illustrated how a drug overdose death can shake a family, but also told the story of a 25-year-old woman who is in recovery.

The series also showed policy failings: The state can't say how many people died from a heroin overdose in any given year, and weak enforcement allows insurance companies to offer haphazard coverage for rehab. And listeners learned about some ways to address the problem, including a drug that reverses an overdose.

The entry runs 29:09 and has been edited for time.



STORY 1 LEAD-IN (Original running time 7:07)

The drug addiction crisis has robbed families of sons, daughters, partners, and friends.

The numbers tell how wide the problem reaches, but not how deep. For that, we visit the Emminger's in Mount Joy, Lancaster County.     

As part of Real Life | Real Issues: Drugs and young people, WITF's Ben Allen reports Stacy Emminger worked for years to get her son Anthony help for his addictions, until one day in March.

Air date 01/18/2015

STORY 2 LEAD-IN  (Original running time 6:55)

For those addicted to drugs or alcohol, crime can be a necessity to feed their habit, not a choice. 

If and when they're caught, they often end up jail cell, while little is done to address their addiction.

But in nine midstate counties, a drug court can shatter the circle. 

As part of our Transforming Health project, WITF's Ben Allen reports.

Air date 1/22/2015

STORY 3  LEAD-IN  (Original running time 7:11)

The story of drug addiction doesn't have to end with an obituary.

For those who commit themselves to the day-to-day grind of recovery, it *is* possible to overcome the pull of drugs, even from one of the strongest available - heroin.

As part of Real Life | Real Issues: Drugs and young people, WITF's Ben Allen has been following a 25-year-old woman who is trying shake the shackles of the powerful opiate

Air date 02/17/2015

STORY 4 LEAD-IN  (Original running time 6:23)

Heroin abuse has reached crisis levels in the commonwealth, and across the Northeast.

But determining the full scope of the problem is proving harder than one might think. 

As part of our Real Life | Real Issues: Drugs and Young People project, WITF's Ben Allen reports that without a single standard in Pennsylvania, each of the state's 67 county coroners and medical examiners operate under their own set of rules.

Air date 04/09/2015


STORY 5 LEAD-IN  (Original running time 4:19)

Deaths from Heroin-related overdoses are soaring.

Opiate addiction now touches every group -- white, black, Hispanic, rural, suburban and urban.

But, WITF's Ben Allen reports those seeking treatment may find their health insurance plan comes up short.   

Air date 08/16/2015


STORY 6 LEAD-IN  (Original running time 3:03)

Whatever you call it - a crisis, public health emergency or epidemic - experts agree there is no one solution to slow the spike in heroin overdoses across the midstate.

But steps can be taken to address what is quietly ravaging some communities.

As part of our Real Life | Real Issues: Drugs and young people project, WITF's Ben Allen reports the State Police hope its newest program will save lives...

Air date 04/07/2015

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