Fighting Opioids in Monroe County

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MOUNT POCONO -- In a packed council room inside the Mount Pocono Municipal Building, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro spoke to community leaders about heroin and the opioid epidemic.

Gene Simchak has lived in the borough for many years and believes the problem is getting worse.

"It's great to talk about it but it's another thing to actually do something about it and that is my biggest concern. We have had a huge drug problem in the borough and it's growing every year," said Simchak.

"These high powered pharmaceutical company lobbyists who clearly had their way with Congress are not going to have their way with me or other attorneys general. We are undeterred by their power, we are undeterred by their influence and we are going to hold these pharmaceutical executives and pharmaceutical companies accountable for their role in the heroin and opioid epidemic," said Josh Shapiro, (D) PA Attorney General.

"One of the things we talk about locally is that if we have a local pharmacy that's bringing in 5,000 oxycodones and then next month 10,000 then 25,000, why is a pharmacy bringing in 25,000 oxycodones in a municipality that has only 3,000 residents. So we really need to work with the attorney general's office and our federal partners to really enforce that reporting," said Chief Chris Wagner, Pocono Mountain Regional Police.

The Attorney General also commented on the controversy surrounding Congressman Tom Marino of Lycoming County.

Earlier this week, the Republican lawmaker withdrew his name from consideration to be the country's next drug czar.

"He is exactly the wrong person for that job. I hope that whoever the president ultimately appoints to that job is someone who is going to be on the side of us in law enforcement and actually help us do our job combating the heroin opioid epidemic not making it harder for us to do our job as Congressman Marino's law does," said Shapiro.

Law enforcement officials here in Monroe County say everyone needs to work together to put a stop to the opioid epidemic.


  • JD

    Politics reminds me of plumbing. Hot’s on left, cold’s on the right and $hit runs down hill. If there’s money to be made, you can bet there’s someone in government That’s up to their eyeballs in the tub.

  • El Ma

    Luckily, this “war on opioids” has made it all the more difficult for a patient with a true condition from having the medication that helps them prescribed. Whenever a “war” on anything has been declared, count on government involvement, massive influx of resources, and a complete SNAFU.

    What ever happened to people being responsible for their own choices, actions, and behaviors?

  • Mare Z

    There have been many politicians on a host of different drugs both prescription and illicit. I’ve read a large number of stories about obama’s drug usage and how he liked to party with his friends in Chicago. One story in particular came from a man names Larry Sinclair; he had quite the story to tell about obama’s illicit drug use. Research how many in the political realm had problems with drug use; their salvation was influence, power, and the almighty dollar. I am so sick and tired of these politicians and their political grandstanding. Just wait until election day!!!

  • CeeMe

    Shapiro seems very principled and reasonable, but if you don’t want to have an opioid crisis, stupid people shouldn’t take drugs. Monroe County sure seems to have a lot of trashy people and problems, anymore. It used to be nice.

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