Governor Signs Bills To Combat Opioid Epidemic

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HARRISBURG -- Governor Wolf signed legislation to tackle the growing epidemic of opioid and heroin addiction.

The legislation strengthens drug monitoring on top of restricting the number of pills that can be prescribed to minors. It also restricts the number of pills prescribed in emergency rooms and calls for better-established education and awareness on the issue.

Celeste Kranick has been fighting addiction in her family for generations. Her brother died from it, and her son is in long-term recovery from an addiction with opioids and heroin.

"I do think people are naive," she said. "I think everybody thinks 'not me.'"

Kranick wears multiple hats in Wyoming County, including helping others who are dealing with addiction directly or indirectly. For her, this legislation is key.

"(Heroin and opioids affect) all ages, race, faith, financial status," she added. "People are dying and we need to come to some kind of agreement that this is a disease and let's help them. For this to come out is a great step forward."

The Wyoming County coroner tells Newswatch16 this issue was unheard of in the county about five or 10 years ago, but so far in 2016, seven people have died from overdoses and the toxicology is out on a couple more.

Dr. Daniel Williams runs his own practice in Tunkhannock. Like almost all of his colleagues, he's seen the issue of narcotic abuse firsthand.

"The narcotic abuse epidemic is a real issue that needs some degree of mitigation from the state level," he explained. "I think doctors are getting pressured all over the place to give inappropriate use of narcotic medication in their practice and having laws in place that allow us to hold off or giving out unnecessary pain medications is only help benefit the general community.

10 comments

  • Fried chicken

    Pharmaceutical companies have so mush power there also big donors to you know who Hillary Clinton and she could care less if Americans overdose or die she be sayen what difference does it make show me the money UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!!!!!

  • KISS ME WHERE IT SMELLS FUNNY!

    Its not doctors its this sad depressing state and US government that’s turning people into addicts and animals, the rest of the world is getting better and we are getting worse WELCOME TO AMERICA THE CAPITAL OF ROBBERY, R*PE AND MURDER, move to North Korea or somewhere else where they have morals! Isn’t Pa. the most disgusting place?

  • burtfan16

    The doctors are getting pressured? They are the ultimate decision makers on who gets what and how much. Don’t make excuses as if the doctors are victims of this epidemic. They are one of the root causes.

    • Writer Girl

      Wrong. Those who use the drugs are responsible. Their addictive behavior is the problem, whether legal or illegal drugs are being taken. They need to uncover the root of that behavior and help themselves, not cause more problems for themselves. Drug users who don’t clean up, have jail or death or both, to look forward to.

      • burtfan16

        Wrong? Do you know how many pill clinics there are in this country? All I’m saying is that doctors can’t say that they’re victims of this epidemic. Ultimately, yes, the user is responsible for his/her actions but I don’t want to hear lame excuses like doctors are being put under pressure to prescribe.

  • sw

    “Celeste Kranick has been fighting addiction in her family for generations.” If you are fighting addiction for generations, something is very wrong with the mentality of your family.
    This bill may sound great, but the government has a problem with knee jerk reactions. There are people that need medication for acute debilitating pain, whether it is short term or long term. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    • Me

      Exactly, I’m hearing from people now that they can’t get any pain medication so they are suffering horrendously. What are they gonna do? Start hitting up their local drug dealer?

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