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.