Extra Money on Way to Fight Opioid Crisis

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- Governor Tom Wolf has declared it a crisis, and now comes news that more money is on the way.

$75 million is coming from the federal government to battle the opioid epidemic. That money will be used to treat, prevent, and educate others about the dangers of drugs.

"That's a good thing for Pennsylvania. There's a lot of drug addiction here," said Terence Jackson of Reading.

So many have personal stories about opioid addiction.

Richard Berlanda has battled it. He is without a home now and lost his brother to an overdose.

"He started doing fentanyl, went back to heroin. His third wife left him, and he died, my own brother. I have a tear in my eye thinking about it," said Berlanda.

The $75 million is meant to be used in part to attract treatment professionals by helping repay their education loans and to help those in treatment find housing.

"I think that's great, thank God. Maybe I can get an apartment out of it," said Berlanda.

State leaders say so far, the federal government has given them more than $141 million over the past two years.

"I've had a nephew and a niece both lose their lives from the opioid epidemic, and it's plagued my family now for decades. I'm in recovery myself, OK? I'm in the program which helps a lot. I go for counseling, and these extra funds that they're giving has helped a lot," said Dino Bellitto of Plymouth.

According to state data in 2018, 4,400 Pennsylvanians died from drug overdoses.

That number is actually down from 2017, and with this additional funding, the governor is hopeful that number will continue to drop.

31 comments

  • Rusty Knyffe

    Okay. Yes, Big Pharma is, in part, culpable, absolutely. NO, our tax dollars should NOT be paying for “extra help” with this “crisis.”

    At some point, there has to be personal accountability. I’ve never made a decision to take opioids that were prescribed, simply because I didn’t need them. If others have made that decision, then aren’t they responsible for their choices, to some degree?

    • darkhorse6669

      Why would the average person not take something prescribed by a medical professional? I agree that you clearly made the right choice but usually if a doctor thinks you should take something then why would you doubt it? Most people weren’t able to realize that providers were getting extra kickbacks to get everyone hooked on opoids until it was too late.

      • Rusty Knyffe

        Most people are too lazy to be involved in their own health care. That’s why. They trust the word of a physician without one question. Kickbacks? Not ALL physicians accepted them, and that’s a huge generalization.

  • Bobby Jackson

    Problem , reaction, solution…. here comes the government with the solution to the problem they created. Off the opiates and on to suboxone which is nearly impossible to get off, soon as you go off it it’s right back to opiates. Life long big pharma customers is what’s been created. Why are American troops guarding the opium fields in Afghanistan? Governor Wolf, what a joke, he’s just another political parasite doing the globalist bidding.

    • Bobby Jackson

      How about that 4 billion dollars the state police stole from the gas tax , whose being held accountable for that robbery? Nobody is, business as usual in the commonwealth.

      • Bobby Jackson

        What’s the FDA? The government. Wouldn’t be on the market if not for government approval . I wonder how many representatives from big pharma companies live in Washington DC , the district of criminals?

      • Bob Stevens

        Big Tech, Big Pharma and Big Gov are all one in the same control group… All to Censor, Control and get dependent of the power structure.

  • Bob Stevens

    How about Big Pharma pays for the problem they created instead of the taxpayer? About China pays for the damage cause since they produce and supply the fentanyl?

    • TIN FOIL HAT

      Big pharma. 🤪

      Yep, and Budweiser is responsible for alcoholics, Ford for car accidents, Remington for shootings, and spoons for fat people.

      • TIN FOIL HAT

        And so have plenty of other beneficial drugs made them filthy rich. And the Mustang made Ford filthy rich. What’s your point?

      • Bobby Jackson

        2000, 2001 percocet was referred to as “ranger candy” , army docs handed them out like they were going out of style, I for 1 got out of military totally addicted.

      • TIN FOIL HAT

        ‘Done my homework’ 😂😂

        What reliable, unbiased internet sources should I use for this homework.

        Wait – wait, let me guess: Just look it up, right?

        Would it be before or after the articles on Hillary being a lizard queen?

      • TIN FOIL HAT

        It’s a controlled narcotic substance.

        Just because a company that profits from something promotes its use it doesn’t make them culpable.

        Sounds like you have an axe to grind because of poor decisions you made.

      • Bobby Jackson

        I understand personal responsibility, doesn’t take away from the addiction caused by opiates. There is point you no longer have a choice and when your dr is the one feeding you people think it’s ok, glad you never suffered from opiate addiction, I’m sure you know people that have.

      • TIN FOIL HAT

        I’ve been prescribed opiates and other addictive narcotics several times for different surgeries I’ve had over the years. I was grateful for the initial pain relief but also realized I needed to stop. I guess some people have difficulty making that decision.

      • Bob Stevens

        They push opioids to get people addicted and dependent on them and government. Leakers have admitted that. Doctors are given a cut for prescribing more opioids. Your other “examples” produce products for enjoyment or defense. Abuse is the users issue. Opioids are forced as the only option.

      • Bob Stevens

        When most of the major conspiracies of the last 20yrs have been proven true as of late, your ‘Tin Foil Hat’ crap is rather cliché. There is a clear and present danger presented by Big Tech, Big Pharma, the media, and Big Gov with the control scheme they run. They get people addicted to opioids and dependent on the government. They get nuts on SSRIs and fired up by mass shooting rhetoric and set them lose on disarmed people to push gun control. They use social media to attack and censor free speech. All of our basic rights are under attack.

      • TIN FOIL HAT

        “When most of the major conspiracies of the last 20yrs have been proven true as of late, your ‘Tin Foil Hat’ crap is rather cliché.”

        OK – indulge me. What major conspiracies have been proven true? Ones that have been widely accepted by reasonable people with common sense when presented with indisputable facts and counter-checks.

        And I don’t want to hear JFK, flat earth, moon landing, vaccines, or 9/11 BS stories either.

      • Bobby Jackson

        Its impossible to speak to people who believe the “official story” or someone who thinks nasa is legit. The controllers have succeeded with there operation mockingbird, cia controlled propaganda and programming. ALL corporate media is fake , I understand you don’t believe that so there’s no reason to continue here.

      • TIN FOIL HAT

        I feel sorry for the people that have to sit next to you at parties or in a diner.

        Nice cop out by the way.

        Oh, I discovered the cure for cancer and figured out time travel too, but I’m not going to tell anyone because they won’t believe me. 😂🙄🤪

      • Bob Stevens

        Well for one, a big one, Jeffery Epstein and the paedo rings and sexual abuse in Hollywood and with elites.
        Guess what, 9/11 is coming out… engineering and architecture groups consensus confirming Building 7 was demo’ed..
        Lets see what else… LGBTQ pushing paedo crap…
        Big tech spying on us… government wanting the guns… government wanting to limit free speech… UN/Govs using 3rd world populations to destabilize nations. Ms Ford lied about Brett Kavanaugh. Google and Facebook manipulation the lections. Propaganda is legal against the people thanks to Obama.
        More and more every day as the deep state crumbles. But go ahead, keep licking boots and believing your handlers. Just want to let you know, you don’t get a slice of the cake in their plan, you’re just a useful idiot sheep. Gotta look beyond media matters and cnn

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