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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, February 08, 2018

NorCo Receives Grant For Drug Court

Judge Craig Dally prefers diplomas to drug court
grads over jail sentences. 
Northampton County has just been awarded a $132,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) to expand programming services for the Northampton County Adult Drug Court. The money will fund staff training, client monitoring, and needs based assistance to clients inclusive of housing, transportation, and ancillary needs. The grant also provides sober living activities.

Opioid use, and the fatal overdoses that accompany it, has plagued the nation and the Lehigh Valley. The Drug Court, launched on April 2, 2015, emphasizes rehabilitation over punishment. Participants benefit from a system that addresses their individual needs, keeping them out of jail, and helping them access social services on their path to sobriety. Traditional prison and jail sentences do not always offer drug users treatment for their addictions. The Drug Court combines treatment with strict court oversight. Keeping an individual out of prison saves taxpayers $112.15 per day. To keep someone in a Northampton jail for a full year costs $40,374.

Drug overdose deaths have increased sharply on the Lehigh Valley since 2014, according to records maintained by both the Northampton and Lehigh County Coroners. These fatalities have increased sharply even though drug overdose kits have been widely available and have been used by first responders over the past year.

In Northampton County, drug overdose deaths have tripled since 2014. There were 31 deaths that year. As of October 25, 91 Northampton County residents had succumbed to opiates. In Lehigh County, there were 88 drug overdose deaths in 2014. In 2017, that number has soared to 167 as of October 22. "Unfortunately, we are outperforming Norco," complained then Lehigh County Executive Tom Muller.

NorCo Coroner Zach Lysek has told Council that his staff now collects a decedent's prescription drugs. This year, his team has collected 407 pounds of drugs thus far.

Former Lehigh County Executive Tom Muller said that "as you clamp down on the Rx side, the 'market' tends to shift to the even more dangerous illegal market where fentanyl has become prominent."

Fenatanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse. It is sometimes sold as heroin, leading to overdoses.

According to Muller, "This isn’t just an Allentown and minorities issue, as the prejudiced and ignorant mind might suspect."

NorCo's Children Youth and Families Director Kevin Dolan would certainly agree. He has told Council that caseworkers responding to complaints have observed the problem has had a widespread impact on wealthier suburban communities where the parent, and not the child, is addicted.

Since April 2015, the Northampton County Drug Court has provided a pathway for substance addicted individuals involved in the criminal justice system a pathway to sustained recovery. The Court currently has an enrollment of fifty-six (56) participants, and to date, it has had nine (9) successful graduates.


Anonymous said...

Stuck a needle in your arm, so take another toke, have a blow for your nose
and one more drink fool, will drown you…

Anonymous said...

Need to thin the herd. Let the druggies pass on to the after life and save the taxpayers millions ( rehab, crimes, courts, prisons, welfare ... ). They will never become useful to society anyway. Then we can get at some of the real issues dealing with our country. Time to rid society of the BS once and for all.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Spoken like a true Trump supporter and member of the Nazi party.

Anonymous said...

No one wakes up in the morning and says I think I'll become a drug addict today. The comments like 8:44 are just disgusting. Addiction is a disease.

Anonymous said...

February 8, 2018 at 8:44 AM

Despite whether it's a disease or mental weakness or failing.

You're describing the actual process that's happening, it's the unwritten policy.

If you're interested in learning about drugs being supplied to America, and it's unwritten policy of destroying expendable americans the book "Dark alliance" by Gary Webb is a good start.

Gary Webb committed suicide by shooting himself in the head....twice. Based on his aim, my guess is the book was accurate.

Without drugs, alphabet agencies and law enforcement generally, along with the courts would starve.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, your comment to the above is good. America and Americans all must look at this with the logistics of War! They have and will continue to still think of this war on drugs within a very small box. This is the black plague of our day with the dynamics so far and wide a team of real thinkers will be needed!
This is a great acheivment for NC yes and thank you for the work at getting this money.

Anonymous said...

Nobody important was killed during the black plague. We are all here.

I do agree however, "a team of real thinkers will be needed!"

They should get working on new drugs without the negative side effects...addiction free opioids. Make getting high safe.

Unless it's free peoples behavior your concerned about controlling, and not the dangers of drugs.

Anonymous said...

Waste of our tax dollars.. to give a crony a job. Leave it all alone... it will thin the herd

Anonymous said...

9:34 Mr O'Hare.

I'm neither. As a registered Independent that believes that both parties don't give a damn about the citizens of the USA, only special interest groups. One should be responsible for ones own actions. Therefore, could you imagine the life the people of our country could have if not for the gov't wasting billions of dollars on these special interest groups who feel they are "entitled" for help every time they do something stupid ? Life and out country would be much better without this or them.

Bernie O'Hare said...

You are a Trump lemming.

george schaller said...

Bernie, there are political parasites sitting in official seats benefiting from Americas insashable apittite for all ill allowable.
Most will never understand the multi demention or variable level of this chess game. This is because most don't care to play checker first because they are benefiting from both ends of the spectrum.

We would all think with this world wide famine there would be more conversation than the small amount of comments. It is a War that the invaders have infected our soil, and also are winning because of the many young lives that are stolen before maturity!

Anonymous said...

Let the american farmers produce the drugs, let the government buy it and provide it free of charge, all you want. Execute those who provide it to children. Take away the profit and the corruption and in time, just like the flu, it will run its course.

Anonymous said...

1:13 PM

The american farmer is kinda busy with heart disease, GMO allergies, pesticide and run off pollution, along with killing the bees.

You've got to spread the fun out a little.

Anonymous said...

"Execute those who provide it to children. "

If you did that for high fructose corn syrup you'd really save lives.

Anonymous said...

No intelligent conversation of this deatheaters designs, instead we have a bunch of lame ducks claiming blindness as a collective collaborations for more raping and pillaging of the American populus.

We all should admire and emulate those locally at the top raping benefits of wealth at both beginning and end.

Margie Mellon said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.