How NorCo is handling the opioid crisis
What’s Northampton County doing about the opioid crisis? That question stumped County Council candidates at a recent debate. But Tiffany Rossanese can answer that question. She’s the Administrator of Northampton County Drug and Alcohol program. She updated council members Nov. 16 on what her department is doing to combat America’s heroin epidemic.
Northampton and Lehigh counties have teamed up to approach local colleges to educate students about the problem. Joe, a Lehigh University master’s degree candidate and participant in Northampton County’s Drug Court, has been sharing his story with students.
Heroin and Opioid
HOPE is offered at schools and community venues to educate parents, students, professionals about opioid addiction and where to go for help.
This is another bi-county effort with area hospitals for persons who have substance abuse problems. The goal is to persuade overdose victims to seek and get help, regardless of the substances used or ability to pay. Mid-Atlantic Rehabilitation Services will then provide assessments and recommend treatment. During October, there were 171 referrals, and 146 people were seen.
Bethlehem and Bangor police departments have started an open door policy in which a drug addict can approach them and be connected to a treatment provider instead of a jail cell. A person who has drugs or paraphernalia can turn them over without fear that there will be charges. If the person has an outstanding warrant, it will be served at that time.
There are three in Northampton County based in Easton (Change on 3d, 117 3d St), Bethlehem (Bethlehem Recovery Center, 548 N New St) and Bangor (A Clean Slate, 100 S.1st St.).
This court, administered by Judge Craig Dally, currently has 54 participants who appear before him weekly. There are eight pending application. There have been nine graduates.