Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County Trying To Get More Overdose Victims Into Rehab

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WILKES-BARRE -- Officials in Wilkes-Barre and Luzerne County are trying to curb what's becoming a fastly growing trend of drug overdose deaths in our area.

Officials say the number of people dying from drug overdoses is a skyrocketing national trend. But in Luzerne County, officials believe getting more people into rehab will help the stop the spike. Jenea Patterson's family agrees.

"We got too much dope in this valley! That's my main concern right now!," said Jenea's dad, James.

He wants to help people who are addicted to dope get into rehab. His own 18-year-old daughter, Jenea, fell victim to heroin, after overdosing at her home in Wilkes-Barre Wednesday.

"We need to link up! We all need to come together. If we don't do this, the more are going to die," he said.

Last year, Patterson made national headlines. She was the girl who three people tried to rescue in the Bronx, bringing with them a cache of weapons in their pickup truck.

Those three people were arrested at the Holland Tunnel while trying to enter New York City. Jenea had told one of them she was in a so-called heroin den.


Last year, Luzerne County had a record 140 drug overdose deaths. The number is so high, it's become a challenge for rescue personnel.

"We've had some of the same patients twice in one day," said Wilkes-Barre Fire Chief Jay Delaney.

Delaney said overdose deaths are a national problem. He added that some drugs are produced to be more potent than ever before. Now, his department is working with Luzerne County to get more people into rehab. They're planning to distribute an information sheet to give to people they saved from overdoses who might not want immediate help.

"They can look at this and they can think about it and it can be another number to call if they think hey it's time to fix this," Delaney said.

Delaney hopes the sheet can serve as a reminder to get people into rehab and ultimately reduce the number of overdose deaths.


  • Lloyd Schmucatelli

    Anyone in the dope game should know that at the people closest to the addict are 50% of the problem.

    Most people want to help the addict and most of the time, this help just makes the addict more of an addict.

    If you truly want to help the addict close to you, you have to cut them off. Pull the carpet out from under them. It’s tough to do, but it has to be done.

    It’s a community disease, it’s a family disease.

  • Nope, no, and nonsense

    The title should read “Courthouse and Doctor’s Offices Looking for More Money”… as they watch people die or subvert to squalor so certain people can live ‘The Fancy Life’ in their mansions that have three fireplaces and a six car garage in a ‘private community’. Wonder why we get fake news and more than one of your neighbors is whacked out on something?

    • Capt Bogart

      First off our nation’s judicial system has failed to protect the people. If its intent was to make money, then the Judicial system has achieved success. In our county, law enforcement risks their lives arresting these people, then the Judicial system fines them, then continues to use the revolving door on these criminals. The Judicial System keeps releasing these people back out to commit their next crime. The system is already counting money from their next occurrence.

      • A2B2C

        Plus it takes them months to even get sentenced in this court system. Arrested and 12 – 18 months later, still waiting, out on the streets, even with second or third offenses and/or numerous probation violations. Cha-ching, cha-ching in their pockets!

  • E

    Ha ha! Typical NEPA delusional bulls*it. No heroin problem in my area, but that’s because it’s the exact polar opposite of your slum. It’s very simple, for any intelligent person, your area is a dumping ground for sh*t people trying to PLAY the victim. Payback is a bit*h so take what you deserve.

    • Nope, no, and nonsense

      C. U. N. T. you are clearly making your lifestyle up, or you’d have no need to talk about it. Obvious embellishment. Did your realtor lie to you or are you losing your place because you financed too much? I really want to know

      • E

        Ha ha ha! Hey super genius there’s something called census data which provides crime, drug and other statistics for every community in the United States. Lol. That’s all I needed to find a wonderful community. Embellishment ha! Try again coal miner. I never mentioned a realtor, you are clearly drawing from your own life. Ha ha ha! Is that all you’ve got? Really? That’s it? I bet you’re the type that talks trash when you meet someone smarter, more successful and in a better life situation. “Oh they figured out the system” right. Let me guess coal miner anybody dumber than you is a “retard” and anyone smarter is “special”. Right, right? Haaaaaaaa! Keep trying to drag people down to your level. Too bad your too stupid to realize that your ancestors were dumped in a slave labor camp because they were trash and no decent community wanted them. I love your opening how you made it all caps and an acronym. Oh no, you don’t know what an acronym is! Hurry get mad grrrrrr! 😀

    • A2B2C

      Continue to live in your pretty bubble dream world of denial. Most of us know that heroin has no boundaries or specific areas. It affects EVERYONE from the wealthiest to the poorest, the most religious to atheists.

  • Tina

    Who cares about heroin addicts? I have no sympathy for those who stick needles in their arms and make it everyone else’s problem. Society needs to stop coddling these junkies. If they want to OD, let them, it’s their business.

  • Apph

    The problem is, the drugs are easier to get then to get help. My friend has been detoxing at home for 2 weeks by herself before she had a stroke and is still detoxing alone cause there is no rehabs with open beds in the state! So making it harder for them to get help and they will stop going to the drugs.

    • Nope, no, and nonsense

      It’s not just this state or this area. It is in every single place where the average income is $40k or lower per individual. We need to stop the source. It is at our borders and ports of entry. It is in our communities “legally” before that.

  • The truth

    Look. This country is a mess. This valley is a mess. What are you politians and business people going to give these kids to make them want to live? What a 9 dollar an hour job? Student loans that they can’t pay? Children that they can’t afford? A jail sentence? How about more drug court? There’s a reason why these kids are turning to drugs. They know what the reality is and they obviously want no part of it. Keep handing them more phone numbers instead of solutions and see how that works for ya.

  • bobc74

    You can’t force someone to go to rehab. If they don’t want to get clean, they are just going to go back to using once they get out.

    • A2B2C

      And, unfortunately, some of those rehabs are nothing but money grabbers! Thirty days of shelter and food are provided along with rhetoric but nothing else. They thrive on repeat business if the patient survives that long!

  • fight_the_good_fight

    “overdosing at her home in Wilkes-Barre Wednesday.”
    no one was home? lock on the door?
    gotta go thru their stuff altho they can stash it well..
    we have two adult children living at home..
    maybe that’s why they keep their rooms so messy…
    still gotta go thru their stuff, that’s your home, that’s your right..nobody should be doing something they shouldn’t be EVEN if it’s the guy/girl paying the bills.
    prob came home with it after copping it and OD’d..so freaking sad
    our family has been touched by this scourge too and it’s very hard to stop them.

    • E

      Wow. So you are so incredibly insecure with the job you did parenting that you have to repeatedly invade your ADULT kids privacy? Your comment make it obvious that you are a domineering person with major control issues, and that you lack any sort of education. I bet you believe in “tough love” and you’re the particular type of moron that calls people things like “buttercup” and “snowflake”. Ha ha! If your kids really are heroin addicts then it’s surely from you being an as*hole to them on a daily basis, not because of society or negative external influences. But not to worry people like you always blame someone else.

      • Nope, no, and nonsense

        Been a while since I saw “E” on here as a screen name. The last time was right after I called out “Teacher 101”. Huh. That’s funny. These f****rs say the most hurtful things that they can to keep us coming back thinking we won’t spot them quick. WNEP employee abusing you here. Confirmed

      • E

        Bwah ha ha! Who is teacher 101? Are you implying I work for WNEP? Your incredibly stupid commnent isn’t even clear lol. Why don’t you directly address my statement instead of trying to change the subject. Are your control issues that severe? Denial, deflection and dissmissal. “It happens everywhere, it happens everywhere” sound familiar?

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