Volunteers Launch Grassroots Effort To Get Young People To Addiction Recovery

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SCRANTON -- People packed the Keyser Valley Community Center in search of a common goal, hope and recovery over addiction, specifically to heroin or prescription painkillers.

“For a long time, I was addicted to drugs of any sorts and now I'm on my way now into recovery,” said Michael Cavalone from Scranton.

The gathering was held by volunteers of an agency called Young People In Recovery.

It's a national, nonprofit grassroots effort to get people help from addiction and the event was to launch a chapter in Scranton.

“We'll be helping people in recovery with access to treatment, helping them with housing, education, and employment,” said Yolanda Battaglia, the chapter leaders.

The effort comes as the legislature is back in session in Harrisburg with several lawmakers making a push to fight this epidemic.

Governor Tom Wolf is planning a rally in the state capitol Tuesday morning.

Marty and Stacy Henehan lost their daughter, 23-year-old Samantha, to a heroin overdose this April and are going to that rally.

“We're going to keep talking until somebody listens, that's all there is to it,” said Marty. “Right now, with the epidemic as wide-spread as it is, we're losing an average of 10 people every month.”

But it appears Big Pharmaceutical has a firm grip in Harrisburg and on lawmakers.

The Center For Public Integrity, a non-profit investigative news organization, found that a “coalition of drug makers and their nonprofit allies had a greater share of lobbyists in Pennsylvania than in any other state.”

“These are the people that are creating these laws and if they're being funded by the people that are making the drugs that are killing the ones we love. It's sad. It's a sad way of life,” said Bob Sullivan.

Contact information on Young  People In Recovery (YPR-Scranton):

Yolanda Battaglia, Chapter leader