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Former NFL Player Helps Tackle Drug Issues In Schuylkill County

TAMAQUA -- Tamaqua Area's Athletic Center was filled with folks looking for answers about how to battle the drug epidemic Thursday night.

"I'm clueless when it comes to the drug scene, you know? I don't know what's out there, so," said Claudia Krell of Tamaqua.

"I want to help people understand drugs and drug addicts. Addiction is dangerous and taking over a lot of peoples’ lives,” said John Welfel of Tamaqua.

Among the speakers was former NFL player Vance Johnson; he's battled addiction himself and urged the crowd to remember: no one is immune.

"I actually told my family, listen, let's move to Pennsylvania because there's a lot of people who need my help there,” he said.

People at the event learned about the signs of substance abuse and resources to battle addiction, as drug overdose deaths skyrocket in Schuylkill County and across the nation this year.

"I think it's very important that the parents get educated. I have three children of my own and I'm actually in recovery myself so I think it's really important to be out,” said Karalyn Dietrich of Tamaqua.

"I really want to become part of the solution so that's why I’m here today,” said Travis Snyder of The Skook Recovers.

Experts say addiction knows no age.

Another speaker at this event was a high school student recovering from drug addiction.

The event was put together by Raiders Step Up and Safer Streets for Tamaqua's Little Feet.


  • flicken

    If you want to stop the corruption that has made your towns into landfills? Step #1 Start a group to be vocal. Step #2 Organize a set gathering to educate the rest that did not initially join your group. Step #3 Play nice with the thieves and beggars. Step #4 Take your towns back. Step #5 Live a good and free life without the use of the habits that make slaves while making the world a better place for our offspring. Step #6 Do not regret your freedoms.

  • Pearl Necklace

    You are better off asking for me than expecting better things to happen down there around the Tuscarora. They say once the Europeans came over the Blue Mountain into Orwigsburg, it was all over. Small people lost in dreams of grandeur nowadays cursed by Peddler’s Grave and mine fires like those are some type of tourist attractions? Let’s go to “The Hosey” and drink while becoming Borough Supervisors to help our criminal family or friends destroy what is left for personal gains instead of bringing continuous wealth for the majority into the area. Schuylkill County is a small example of the power driven greed that has destroyed most of our bankrupt cities. Study those examples, then do your best to not become an example.

  • Goochy

    SEDCO, any chance we can have a football team again? Maybe use some more of that scam land? Profit pocket profit

  • Robber Barons

    We’ve all noticed these trends in every county in the Commonwealth. What is the real root of our collected problems? Society usually flourishes when there is freedom to express ideas without burden to complicate a daily lifestyle. Add some greedy politicians and pill pushing “doctors” into the mix? This is what you get. Less population? More taxes and fines for property owners must be the answer. No reasonable employment? Rely on the government to steal from others to pay your way. Then the property owners leave and you are left with ghost towns filled with aimless walking corpses to feed on those that are victims of their pride for the struggle that previous generations endured.

      • Robber Barons

        It’s not Community Centers springing up around these blighted burgh’s in PA? “Tax and fine” mentalities to empty towns of those that actually pay them to hold onto a semblance of community? Shucks. Better leave those places to let the Slum Lords capture or realize regret for being turned out like an expense account by the corrupt politicians.

    • E

      Ha ha ha! Pill pushing doctors, are you serious. No your pill addiction began when you started stealing your parents pain pills from the medicine cabinet. Wow it’s the same pathetic excuse with every single one of you people. No one made you a junkie, you and everyone like you chose your lifestyle because you are weak.

  • Roamer

    If anyone is going to be in Frackville for Thanksgiving hit me up. There is going to be a nice dinner in the vo-tech woods followed by a big slam-slam.

  • berrios

    It is a sociological cycle almost like of a broken record. in 1998 they did the same thing with drugs trying to prevent it by bringing in NFL player etc and its almost 2018 and the area just got MUCH worse, more blighted neighborhoods, more drugs,, more fires, more educated moved out and slumlords bought many of the properties when many of the hardworking people passed away. Bringing out of towners in who supply drugs. SMH! WAKE UP SKOOK!

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