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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, June 02, 2016

McNeill Donates Campaign Cash to Fight Heroin Addiction.

The Bethlehem School District check was presented to Nitschmann Middle School Principal Peter Mayes Also pictured on the left is Kathy Halkins, Supervisor of Health Services for BASD. On the Right is Vivian Robledo-Shorey, Director of Student Services and Minority Affairs for BASD.  
Some elected officials use campaign funds to pay their cell phone bills. Others buy clothing. A few, like Allentown Mayor Edwin Pawlowski, use these donations to pay criminal defense lawyers. But State Rep. Dan McNeill (Pa. 133rd District) is dipping into his warchest, not for himself, but to fight heroin addiction.

When he conducted his first ever St. Patty’s Day Campaign Fundraiser, he vowed that every penny raised would be spent on the heroin and opioid addiction epidemic throughout the state.

He's kept his word. McNeill raised $2,000 at that fundraiser, and has donated the money evenly among the Whitehall/Coplay, Catasauqua, Bethlehem and Salisbury school districts.

“This epidemic is tearing families apart throughout the Lehigh Valley, and I’d rather see the money we raised go to fighting this problem than to pay for another campaign mailer,” said McNeill. “I’m tired of hearing about another young life lost to heroin, and the money will be better spent on educating our children and young adults on the dangerous of this often deadly addiction.”

McNeill donated $500 to each of four school districts to pay for drug education seminars like Heroin and Opioid Prevention Education (HOPE). Children learn the dangers of heroin and opioid use, while their parents are educated on the signs of heroin and opioid abuse as well. Although McNeill hopes that the programs are presented to all grades, he would like to see the focus on elementary school students.

McNeill has hosted two Town Hall Meetings as well as a roundtable discussion with State Secretary of Drug and Alcohol Programs Director Gary Tennis on the addiction problem. “I believe that we need to educate our students on the dangers of these drugs. If we can convince just one young adult to say 'no,' it will be worth it. If you don’t already know someone who is affected by this problem, within five years, you will. It could be your family member, your friend, your co-worker, or your neighbor. We have to fight this as a community, and I believe we have to educate our kids as early as possible to keep them off this dangerous path,” concluded McNeill.

The Bethlehem School District check was presented to Nitschmann Middle School Principal Peter Mayes Also pictured on the left is Kathy Halkins, Supervisor of Health Services for BASD. On the Right is Vivian Robledo-Shorey, Director of Student Services and Minority Affairs for BASD.

Blogger's Note: I am sorry to have missed the actual presentation at Nitschmann. I was waiting outside the new school, which is under construction. But it was done inside the old school. 


Anonymous said...

Money would be better spent on a needle exhange but it's a good gesture none the less. Most of the od's are from contaminated dope(fentanyl) so legalized smack (pure) would save the most lives but most are too cowardly to change coarse on the drug war and double down on prohibition a losing strategy.

Ever hear of bathtub Gin?

Anonymous said...

Since he is in a gerrymandered District, without any real opposition, of course he should give money to this cause. Originally he was appointed to the open seat by some union insiders. Now he can be there as long as he wants like most incumbents. Most of these guys like to have fundraisers for races where they have no chance of losing.

Sounds like a big deal but actually it isn't that big a deal.

How about term limits? Ask him about that and see what happens.

Anonymous said...

A modest gesture, but one that should be applauded just the same.
In the meantime I look forward to reading this blog several times a day, and savor the contradiction of citizen journalism and arbitrary censorship existing side by side.
Thank you for your interesting contribution to life in the Lehigh Valley.
I remain, Annon.

Ray Nemeth Sr said...

Yes, this is the only approach that will have any effect, they need hard truth about where this addiction will take them, Problem is government money will probably go to the rehab industry which has a dismal record with opioid addiction. the problem is, addicts need to want to quit, and most love their addiction. The answer is to not start.

Bernie O'Hare said...

3;32, I'm not sure I get your anonymous attack. Is it MCNeill's fault he is in a gerrymandered district, especially with the Rs in control? Are you saying Dave Molony is "no real opposition?" What do term limits have to do with heroin abuse? Or union insiders?

What you are really saying is that you hate this guy bc he is a Democrat. But you lack the basic personal integrity to even say who you are. It's no surprise to me, therefore, that you would not care much about people dying from heroin overdoses.

McNeill, unlike you, is a decent guy who does care. This issue has really had an impact on him. It has nothing to do with unions or parties. And the money he gave away was his money, not public money.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Ray Nemeth, As an alcoholic who is lucky to say i only had to go thru rehab once, let me tell you that most addicted people and alcoholics need to make several trips to rehab before they stop. Most of the money going to rehab is private , not public. I know, because I paid for everything myself, and that was at a time when it was not even covered by insurance. The problem is not whether government money is being used. The problem is the disease, which is very real. The best treatment plans call for a rehab followed by a lengthy stay at a halfway house, away from family, friends and places. That probably should be made more common as an option. But insurance companies will never go along.

Ray Nemeth Sr said...

I would expect with the recent opioid addiction bill that passed congress, 1.1 Billion dollars. We will have mandatory rehab paid for by taxpayers, It will not solve the problem but will finance a new industry. There was very little in the bill for education in schools or for drug interdiction. Check the success rates for opioid rehab, most will not tell you, but the real rates are around 15% with in house rehab, without in house treatment it is near 0. Don't confuse alcohol rehab with opioid addiction. It is not the same.

George Ruth said...

Built the Wall and keep the drugs out of the country. That will drive up the price to the point it won't be affordable. Why should we expect any Democrat to understand the basic economics of illegal drugs. All they do is tug at our heart strings. I have as much compassion and anybody for those who got 'themselves' into drug addiction, but you don't get addicted by osmosis....you make a conscious decision to get into that lifestyle. Help them, YES! But get to the source...South America and their compliant Mexican government and cartels.

Anonymous said...

I know most out here are cluelees, neddle exchange and let the innocent indigent children die due too overdose?!
This much like palumpas pension proCUREment procedures for the double and triple dip, adding only more to the allready unsurmounting pa pension problem?! ($ I am sure judge allentowns fire dog has a fictisious pension package put to place to devide amoungst freinds of the pay to play palumpas way?! ($

I don't know this man nor do I care to but, this poor attempt to pander the public into believing he is part of the CURE?! ($ This is much like but not the same because this henious drug is allowed to be flooded into the innercity's under the watchful eyes of collectors, than when a child becomes addicted too this allowble killer drug, the child becomes an insurable peril under pa's criteria?!($ Hence the double dip factor, take campaign contributions for allowing it underhandedly ofcourse, than also reep stipends from the healthcare industry for the unCUREd by design?! ($

SIC SIC people that are political parasites pandering the public with there puss digitilized for free advertisemental ingnorance of the true facts and data?! ($
RE:publican redd

Anonymous said...

Good money going down the drain. As with most money spent on "anti-drug" initiatives over the years.

No one forces addicts to take that first needle in their arm.

Anonymous said...

Yunno 9:39, you might be right but still, fuck you and yours.

Bernie O'Hare said...

9:39 is not right, and will be singing a different tune and screaming for all the handouts she can get when it hits her family, and it will.

Anonymous said...

Nice gesture but it won't do a thing . The so called drug war has been lost long ago . If there is demand for a drug then it will find a way to its consumers . Period ! With all the alcoholics in this country and the damage booze has caused to families , workers careers and children you would think alcohol would be banned again ? Why hasn't it ? Because the government has figured out how to regulate it and it is a tax revenue stream . If drugs were legalized and regulated like alcohol demand would decrease dramatically . Drug wars would end almost overnight and the government would save millions in tax revenue fighting the suppliers. End of the DEA ! Revenues saved from fighting illegal drugs and revenue generated from its sale could be used to educate the public on the side effects of its use therefore reducing demand and its use.The government hasn't figured this out yet ..how to regulate drugs . Until then the same vicious circle will continue . McNeill's initiative on the surface is a worthy cause but it won't do anything to stop the problem of heroin/opioud use . McNeill looks like a hero here but make no mistake , that campaign money won't do a thing to stop the demand for heroin .

Anonymous said...

union hack making this a political issue. this guy never met a union or a political photo op he didn't like. look at his voting record and tell me how he really cares about the community.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Your anti-union animus is really out of place here. Dan McNeill got involved in this issue because it has hit a lot of people he knows. He has had two town halls, has participated in seminars and has put his money where his mouth is while you lack the integrity to even identify yourself.

Bill said...

I think it is a great thing he is doing - which is more than most. I saw an article yesterday that we spend more money with the agency that screens officials mail than on our Department of Drug and Alcohols entire budget - the smallest in the state.

Bernie is right about rehab and insurance companies. Treatment does work - but few people get the intensity needed. Here is a research article on impaired doctors, the efficacy rate for the intense treatment that impaired professionals like doctors and lawyers and pilots get is around 75%. This is not what the average person gets.


Anonymous said...

Yea it may be a great gesture, but one must know him to truely understand his motives on this agenda and public sspeaches are just that a prepared perception powerpoitiZed?!($ Reel deep underLIEing motives are the opperating/motoperandi agenda of the triboro descriptive yet indescriptive grey matter of the browne hole of the valley?!($ Many circus sticks are needed to sell this false sack o shitstew too the public and flea like the traveling carnival, one in the same?! ($
The three target areas have been and are comprimised with this pandering profiteer poloticiaNOTo's claiming to be the CURE when the fact o the matter is they are all just one of many parts public and private that are the inflamed infectious pussie wound colluding to dillude?! ($
Re:publican redd

Local said...

All drugs should be legal.
Anyone can get gasoline to huff.
The problem is squarely at the feet of legislators and the pharmaceutical industry.
What is a "gateway" drug?
Not Marijuana.
Not even alcohol.
The gateway is when an entire medical industry systematically tempts, prescribes for, and addicts a large swath of the population.
THEN - they half assedly figure out that there is an epic problem and abruptly curtail the industry. The pushers take away the addict populations legal opiate supply.
The legal medical business has always had the "good" drugs.
How do products like fentanyl and other opiate analogs get into the hands of ameteur compounders?
Why would fentanyl even be provided in an easily usable form to add to other powders?
Might this have all been planned, on purpose, profitable?
Where and who is growing all the Opium required to supply an entire nation?
Addiction is a horrible personal nightmare that creates huge problems with family and friends -BUT- it should NOT be a legal problem also.
The courts should not be bleeding addicts and their families.
The Police should not use them as fodder for their existence.

Anonymous said...

I agree BUT ...how do you handle addicts whom hurt others either by driving high or drunk ? Do you keep them out of jail and force long term rehab ? Do you seperate the addicts from the other law breakers after conviction ?This is a deep and complicated issue . I do believe frequent offenders need strict disciplinary action other than incarceration . Not sure what the penalty should be... That's a solution for the courts to figure out .