Help the Mon Valley Opioid Coalition assess stigma in the community by participating in a STIGMA SURVEY.
Formed to combat the ongoing opioid epidemic in the area, the Mon Valley Opioid Coalition is having an impact and saving lives. The coalition, whose vision statement is “Uniting the Mon Valley to ensure the long-term health, safety and well-being of individuals in the region,” has been meeting monthly since November at Westmoreland Drug and Alcohol Commission’s office building’s training room in Monessen.
Members of the coalition include representatives of the Westmoreland Drug and Alcohol Commission, Washington Drug and Alcohol, Fayette County Drug and Alcohol Commission, the Drug Enforcement Agency, Southwestern Pennsylvania Human Services, Mon Valley Hospital, Mon Valley Emergency Medical Services and Rostraver-West Newton Emergency Medical Services.
The coalition also includes members of the faith-based community, representatives from Belle Vernon Area High School, including three students, prevention providers, recovery community members, treatments providers and pharmacists. Representative Justin Walsh also plays an active role with the coalition.
Colleen Hughes, Executive Director of Westmoreland Drug and Alcohol Commission and Monessen Police Chief Jim Smith co-chair the coalition. Rostraver Township, Charleroi and Donora police are also represented.
The coalition recently approved a three-year strategic plan which identifies five priorities:
- Increase community education and awareness and reduce stigma
- Increase access and utilization of naloxone to save lives
- Eliminate barriers to increase access and utilization of Substance Use Disorder treatment
- Ensure that all individuals have the opportunity for successful recovery and build supportive communities
- Increase capacity for first responders’ involvement and initiatives to help reduce the burden of the opioid crisis on the Mon Valley and reduce the supply of available opioids.
Facts About the Opioid Epidemic*
- Heroin-related overdose deaths have quadrupled since 2010, as the heroin use has increased during that time frame.
- From 2014-2015, heroin overdose death rates increased by 20.6%, with nearly 13,000 people dying in 2015.
- Among new heroin users, approximately 3 out of 4 report having abused prescription opioids prior to using heroin.
- More than 9 in 10 people who used heroin also used at least one other drug.
- In 2018, Pennsylvania coroners and medical examiners reported 4,491 drug-related overdose deaths (ruled accidental or undetermined).
- This number represents a rate of 35 deaths per 100,000 people.
- Between 2015 and 2018, there was a 36% increase in the number of drug-related overdose deaths in Pennsylvania .
*National statistics are from www.cdc.gov and state statistics are from www.overdosefreepa.pitt.edu
Mon Valley Lives Lost
- Allegheny: 737
- Fayette: 75
- Washington: 97
- Westmoreland: 122
- Allegheny: 432
- Fayette: 41
- Washington: 75
- Westmoreland: 193
Do You Need Help Finding Resources for Yourself or a Loved One?
Westmoreland Drug and Alcohol Commission: (724) 243-2220
Southwest Pennsylvania Human Services Centers of Excellence: 1-888-810-8595
Southwest Pennsylvania Human Services Drug and Alcohol Case Management and Certified Recovery Specialist Services: 1-800-220-1810
Monessen Family Center SAFE Program: (724) 684-4379
412 Reed Avenue
Salvation Army: (724) 684-4750
308 Schoonmaker Ave
Career Link: (724) 379-4750
570 Galiffa Drive
PIC: (724) 684-4058
521 Schoonmaker Ave
Gate of Heaven Church: 2nd Saturday monthly and emergency boxes throughout month
644 Reed Ave
Salvation Army: 2nd Friday monthly and emergency boxes monthly
308 Schoonmaker Ave
Schooner Food Pantry at Orchard Church
701 Schoonmaker Avenue
Fellowship Baptist Church 9th and Knox Monessen
Belle Vernon United Methodist Church: 2nd and 4th Tuesday 9 AM-12 PM
200 State St
Belle Vernon, PA
Belle Vernon Church of Nazarene: 3rd Saturday 1-4 PM
108 Reed Avenue
Belle Vernon, PA