Dauphin County invites the community to take part in Town and Teen Talk-Back and Social Norming sessions on drug and alcohol abuse and free trainings on how to administer overdose-reversal drug Narcan

HARRISBURG, PA (May 7, 2018) – Dauphin County is trying new – and positive – approaches to curbing drug and alcohol abuse and ending the deadly overdose epidemic, which last year claimed a record 102 lives in the county, by hosting several community outreach events and free trainings on how to use the overdose-reversal drug Narcan.

“Sadly, it’s a story that’s become all too common: people losing their battle to addiction,” said Commissioner George P. Hartwick, III. “In an effort to prevent drug abuse and save lives, we’re holding a series of talk-back and social norming sessions with teens to promote good decision-making.”

The social norming campaign, coordinated by the Dauphin County Drug and Alcohol Services Department, aims to correct misperceptions regarding drug and alcohol use and encourage youth to make positive choices.  

According to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency’s PAYS study in 2015 (www.pccd.pa.gov), 87 percent of Dauphin County youth do not use marijuana, 93 percent do not abuse prescription opioids, and 87 percent think it is wrong to regularly drink alcohol.

“If we think that something is socially acceptable, we’re more likely to do the same,” said Board Chairman Jeff Haste. “Most Dauphin County youth don’t use drugs and alcohol, according to the most recent Pennsylvania Youth Survey (PAYS). We want to educate and empower young people to stay drug and alcohol free but do so in a positive way and let them know it’s acceptable.”

Students, parents, teachers and community members are invited to take part in the following social norming events:

  • On May 12 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Raiders Rally for Positive Personal Choices event will be held at Hoffer Park on Mill Street.
  • On June 1 from 7 to 10 p.m., the Rally in the Valley for Positive Personal Choices for middle and high school students in Williams Valley, Halifax, Millersburg and Upper Dauphin School Districts will be held at Valley Bowl, 4865 State Route 209, Elizabethville.
  • On June 23 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Rollers Rally for Positive Personal Choices for elementary, middle and high school students in Steelton–Highspire School District, will be held at the high school football field, 250 Swatara Reynders Ave.

The county’s Drug and Alcohol Services Department also will host several Town and Teen Talk-Back sessions – small group discussions led by a facilitator. Anyone age 18 and older is invited to attend the Town Talk-Backs, while the teen sessions are for students under 18.

“We want to hear from you – what’s working, what isn’t – and discuss ways to help kids and teens make healthy choices and avoid drug abuse,” said Commissioner Mike Pries.  

The next Teen Talk-Back will be held:

  • May 24 from 6 – 8 p.m. at St. Peters Lutheran Church, 121 Northern Spring St., Middletown

Town Talk-Backs for adults will be held:

  • May 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Department of Drug and Alcohol Services, 1100 S. Cameron St., Harrisburg
  • May 21 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Northern Dauphin Human Services Center, 295 State Dr., Elizabethville

County residents can also learn how to recognize signs of opioid overdose, how to administer the life-saving drug Narcan and where to turn for help at several free training sessions. A local pharmacist will provide step-by-step instructions on the use of Narcan and dispense one free dose to those who successfully complete the training.

Narcan training sessions will be held at the following times:

  • May 9 from 2:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex during Dauphin County’s annual Addictions Conference. Participants must be registered for the conference and be a county resident. Please register by calling 717-635-2254 or drugsandalcohol@dauphinc.org.
  • May 14 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Halifax Media Café, 3940 Peters Mountain Rd., Halifax
  • May 18 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Dauphin County Drug and Alcohol Services, 1100 S. Cameron St., Harrisburg.

“In Dauphin County, drug overdoses have surpassed car accidents as the leading cause of death,” said Pries. “Making the overdose-reversal drug Narcan readily available is a critical step to combating this epidemic.”

If you have questions about these community events or need treatment services, contact Dauphin County Drug & Alcohol Services at 717-635-2254 or drugsandalcohol@dauphinc.org.