Most of the discussion at the September 5 Pike County Commissioners’ meeting surrounded the crisis of opioid addiction, including a reminder that more than 50 people in Pike County are known to have died from drug overdose, since 2014.

MILFORD - Most of the discussion at the September 5 Pike County Commissioners’ meeting surrounded the crisis of opioid addiction, including a reminder that more than 50 people in Pike County are known to have died from drug overdose, since 2014.

A resolution was passed designating September 2018 as National Recovery Month in Pike County. The Pike County Opioid Task Force has announced several community events to bring awareness to the problem and pathways to restoration. Those still ahead include:

Sept. 17, 24, Oct. 1 - Recovery awareness program provided by Pyramid Healthcare, from  6 to 8 p.m. at Pike County Training Center, Lords Valley. Call 570-390-7261 to register.

Sept. 18, 25 - S.M.A.R.T. Recovery meetings, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at St. Patrick’s church office, 111 East High St., Milford. Call 570-296-1054 for information.

Sept. 14 - Mobile Drug Take Back at the Pike County Senior Expo, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Dingmans Fire Hall, Log Tavern Road. Bring your unwanted or expired prescription and non-prescription drugs for safe disposal.

Sept. 13 - Naloxone Training, 7 p.m., Pike County Training Center. Call 570-296-1960 to register.

Sept. 15 - Awareness promotion at Delaware Valley Warriorfest.

Sept. 20 -   Naloxone Training, 12 p.m., Pike County Training Center. Call 570-296-1960 to register.

Sept. 22 - Community awareness promotion at Harvest Fest (Akenac Park) and Scarecrows in the Park (Dingman Township Park). Mobile Drug Task Back at Harvest Fest.

Sept. 25 - Free movie screening of Addiction documentary with guest speakers, 6 to 9 p.m. at Pike County Training Center.

Sept. 29 - Community awareness promotion at PAYAL Youth Sports; Recovery Month awareness activities and Mobile Drug Take Back, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Airport Park in Matamoras.

Ongoing:

Promotion of Reality Tour program (set for Oct. 11 and Nov. 8 at Milford Bible Church); and Strengthening Families Prevention Programs held at Wallenpaupack and Delaware Valley schools.

Traveling pinwheel display remembering the 50+ lives lost to addiction in Pike County.

Delaware Valley and Wallenpaupack school districts promoting Recovery Month with announcements made at sporting events.

Celebrating recovery

According to the National Recovery Month resolution, the focus of this observance is to celebrate the journey of recovery from mental and substance abuse disorders. Recovery Month spreads the message that behavioral health is essential to one’s overall health and wellness, and that prevention works, treatment is effective, and people recover.

Commissioner Chairman Matthew Osterberg stressed the enduring magnitude of the problem of drug abuse. He read a passage for a book, Dope Sick: “This evil is confined to no class or occupation. It numbers among its victims some of the best women and men of all classes. Prompt action has been commanded, lest our women become stupefied by the dire-full effects of narcotics and thus diseased by its effects physically, mentally and morally. The love of living swallowed up by the love of opium while some masses of our people become fit subjects for a despot.” - written January 25, 1884.

“This has been going on a very long time,” Osterberg stated.

He urged people to take a wrist band that says, “Recovery is Possible” which he said stirs the conversation.

“This epidemic is not going away,” Osterberg said.

Angie Smith, Pike County Penn State Extension Educator, said they gave a public service announcement to read at home games in September, at Wallenpaupack and Delaware Valley schools.

Drug overdose deaths have increased 88% per year from 2013 to 2016, nationally. In 2017, Pennsylvania ranked sixth highest in the nation for overdose deaths, she said. “In Pike County alone, we have lost over 50 residents to overdose since 2014.”

The announcement reminds that anyone can become addicted, but with treatment and support, they can overcome their addiction.

Benefit auction

Annette Haar and Jack Boyle discussed the community auction to benefit the Milford Garden Club, Milford Police Department and Milford Fire Department. The “Gar-Po-Fire” auction is set for Saturday, Sept. 22 at noon, at St. Patrick’s Parish Hall, corner of East High and 4th Street, Milford. Admission is free.

Donated items, whether it be a tangible object or something such as donated frequent flyer miles or a walk-on part on a movie, are welcome. Donations should be reasonably expected to bring at least $100 at auction.

For more information call Linda Pinto, 570-296-5326 or Annette Haar at 973-876-1897.
Haar, who with Linda Pinto raised the idea for the event, said that the Garden Club hopes to raise funds for self-watering urns for plantings in downtown Milford.

Also discussed:

Peter Wulforst, Pike County Penn State Extension, held up a specimen case showing the spotted lanternfly in its various life stages. This invasive plant hopping insect, introduced in the Southeast Pennsylvania a few years ago, has been slowly spreading. It poses the potential to greatly impact the grape, hops and logging industries. It has been discovered as far north as western Monroe County. If anyone has seen a spotted lanternfly, they are asked to contact their local Penn State Extension office without delay. The most current information on the spotted lanternfly is available from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture at http://bit.ly/SLF-FactSheets .

Penn State Extension may be contacted in Pike County at 570-296-3400, and in Wayne County at 570-253-5970 Ext. 4110.

Cassandra Miller was hired as a Probation Officer for the Juvenile Probation Office. Danni Sell was hired as a Deputy Sheriff in the Pike County Sheriff’s Office.

The Pike County Commissioners meet on the first and third Wednesday at 9 a.m. at the Administration Building, 506 Broad St., Milford.