ELIZABETHTOWN, PA—Elizabethtown College on Thursday announced that it will be hosting a group of speakers on Monday, Feb. 19 who will discuss in detail the extent of the opioid crisis in central Pennsylvania.
The symposium will be held in light of the current state of opioid abuse in Pennsylvania, which has the fourth-largest overdose rate in the United States. In early January, Gov. Tom Wolf declared the opioid epidemic a statewide disaster, which was done to provide greater access to aid for the state.
“I knew like three kids that went to my high school that died from [overdose] in the past year,” a former Elizabethtown High School student said. “I wasn’t friends with them, but I knew who they were.”
“Almost every night you hear the firetrucks or ambulances going to respond to overdoses,” an Etown college student who lives off campus said. “It’s a real issue around here.”
Issues to be covered at the symposium include the science behind addiction, treatments for addiction, and the sociological ramifications of the opioid crisis.
On the speaking panel are Mary Dolheimer, a board member of York County’s drug-awareness organization ‘Not One More,’ Kate Eberz, a social worker at the Naaman Center for drug treatment in Elizabethtown, Tom Hagan, an associate professor of Biochemistry at the college, E. Fletcher McClellan, a professor of political science at Etown, and Gail Viscome, executive director of Elizabethtown Area Communities That Care, which focuses on the promotion of drug-abuse prevention as well as physical and emotional wellbeing.
The symposium, which is free to the public, will be at 7 p.m. in Esbenshade Hall. Additional information on the event can be acquired from Susan Mapp, a professor of social work and a department chair at Etown college, by calling 717-361-3766 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.