|Exec Lamont McClure with Human Services participants in the battle against fentanyl.|
We all die. Northampton County Exec Lamont McClure admitted yesterday that even he is a mere mortal. He wondered whether, after it's all over and he reaches the Pearly Gates, they'll let him in. Will he be able to say he did everything he could to leave the world a better place? "What will your answer be?" he asked in an unusual introduction to an unusual news conference attended by at least 25 people at the county's human services building. He's hoping that Northampton County's new approach to the fentanyl crisis just might save a few lives. "Fake is Real" is an awareness campaign concerning the danger posed by fentanyl. It was launched yesterday by McClure, District Attorney Terry Houck, Human Services Director Sue Wandalowski, Drug and Alcohol Administrator Kathy Jiorle and Kudo Creative's Sarah Clark.
COVID-19 was the nation's leading public health crisis over the past two years. But according to Pennsylvania's Opioid Data dashboard, the opioid overdose epidemic has been our biggest public health problem for over a generation. It claimed 82 Northampton and 140 Lehigh County lives last year.
Even more tragically, many of these victims are completely unaware that the drugs they ingest are laced with fentanyl, which can be 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine.
It's a killer. According to Human Services Director Sue Wandalowski and District Attorney Terry Houck, the amount needed could be as little as the tip of a pencil or even a pin.
Most tragically of all, drug dealers lace all sorts of illegal drugs with fentanyl. It's both cheaper and easier to smuggle. It is odorless and tasteless and has been found in everything from heroin to marijuana to pressed counterfeit prescription pills. It deprives mothers and fathers of their sons and daughters.
Since he became District Attorney, Houck has commenced eight prosecutions against dealers for fentanyl overdose deaths. But he acknowledged they are difficult. How do you prove that a heroin addict who might use 40 bags in one day died from the one bag that contained fentanyl? How do you prove that it was fentanyl, and not some other drug, that caused the death? How do you prove that the dealer knew that the drug he sold contained fentanyl? Given the months it takes to get a toxicology report, how do you know anything other than that there was an overdose? Assuming you have answers to all these questions, the next obstacle is a two-year statute of limitations.
While criminal prosecutions might be difficult, suing Big Pharma is relatively easy. Drug companies had been marketing opioids for decades, and Houck joined a lawsuit filed by state District Attorneys to hold them accountable financially. His office has received over $2 million, "Don't give up on us, folks," said the former Philly cop. "We're doing damage to this."
In addition to the $2 million that Houck turned over to Human Services, the county will receive another $13 million over 18 years as part of its share of a national settlement. With this money, the "Fake is Real" webpage was born. Houck completely supports this approach. "He's [McClure] hitting it where it needs to be hit."
On the Fake is Real webpage, you can sign up for narcan training, see a host of local recovery centers and outpatient clinic and, finally, read numerous informative essays.
Money will be spent to upgrade recovery centers, expand veteran outreach services, conduct substance abuse prevention programs aimed at student athletes and train certified recovery specialists at local colleges. The county will also acquire a mobile outreach vehicle called Hope1. It will travel the four corners of the county to provide drug and alcohol assessments and mental health referrals. It also has a billboard on Route 22.
The primary goal of "Fake is Real" is to educate people, and the younger the better.
"We want to scare them when they're 14," said McClure. "We want to get them before a needle goes in at 19." But he cautioned, "I want the fear to be based on facts."
The facts appear to justify the fear. As Sarah Clark observed yesterday, "You'll only be dead wrong once."
Wide Pearly Gates = for Lamont !
Were any county council members there? Did McClure invite them?
This should be part of core learning in schools, particularly in 8th and 9th grade level. It would seem that more often than not, when a person passes due to an OD, the cause is seldom discussed openly.
No, McClueless will not be going in the Pearly Gates. He is going straight to Hell like he should.
Thank you Joe Biden. Tell me I'm wrong.
Yay! All smiles for the photo op! Yaaaaaas Lamont! This is a complete waste of time until the Biden administration and the tragic consequences of its woke open borders policy are gone. It's created the largest human trafficking and drug markets in human history. We're so woke, we have sex slavery and a fentanyl crises of unprecedented proportion. The problem is the border. The problem is the border. The problem is the border. Locals are powerless to fight their federal government. In fact, Lamont supports it. But he's smiling like he just pulled one over on you. He did.
"Were any county council members there? Did McClure invite them?"
I saw no members of County Council and have no idea whether they were invited. Your comment, posted at 3:14 am, comes at the same time that I usually receive comments that sing the praises of Ron Heckman and reacts angrily to the hint of any criticism of County Council.
This post is about fentanyl, which is a killer, and the steps being taken to educate the public. McClure should have wanted as many people as possible. If he failed, then he failed to do what he can to leave the world a better place. Having said that, this should not be about your ego, which you exalt over something far more important. Grow up.
"This should be part of core learning in schools, particularly in 8th and 9th grade level. It would seem that more often than not, when a person passes due to an OD, the cause is seldom discussed openly."
I agree and think Human Services agrees this should be taught at schools. While it is not what I'd call core learning, I believe students should know as much as possible about this. The reason the cause is seldom discussed openly is twofold. One is respect for the privacy and the dignity of the surviving family. They do not think of their son or daughter as a drug user but as a little boy or girl that they love and watched grow up. They are crushed. The second is that, while the coroner may know it was an overdose, it takes months to learn that it was fentanyl. Unfortunately, the coroner was unable to make it yesterday. He is testifying in a murder trial.
"No, McClueless will not be going in the Pearly Gates. He is going straight to Hell like he should."
Then you'll have company.
"This is a complete waste of time until the Biden administration and the tragic consequences of its woke open borders policy are gone."
According to the right-leaning Cato Institute, it is US citizens who smuggle fentanyl from overseas, not illegal immigrants. https://www.cato.org/blog/fentanyl-smuggled-us-citizens-us-citizens-not-asylum-seekers
The narrative that this is coming in from people fleeing the violence in their own countries is simply false. But it sounds good, and that's what most people believe.
6:16 AM You're right - You!
Legalize everything give el Chapo a fentanyl suppository
Bernie, You can't be this oblivious that these drugs are coming in the southern border. Agents are being pulled off the line to process illegal aliens which leaves gaping holes in the border which drugs come through. There is also over a million "gotaways" which are people that don't want to be caught because they are criminals and HAVE DRUGS. Maybe if our border czar Harris would focus as much on the border as they did a fake horse whipping story things would change. Lastly, Why is DHS blocking agents from testifying? Receipts below
seeing that picture of mcclure reminded me to get some pigs in a blanket for the super bowl.
"Bernie, You can't be this oblivious that these drugs are coming in the southern border. Agents are being pulled off the line to process illegal aliens which leaves gaping holes in the border which drugs come through."
Your own links fail to substantiate your assertion. I am well aware that most people think that fentanyl is being brought into the US by illegals, and this is a talking point in many elections, but the narrative is false. The simple reality is that the so-called open borders has nothing to do with the fentanyl crisis. I have already linked to an article from the right-leaning CATO institute, and below, I have another article from right-leaning reason. "[I]t's inaccurate to say that undocumented immigrants crossing an open border are chiefly responsible for fentanyl arriving at the country's doors. In reality, U.S. citizens carrying the drug through legal ports of entry are primarily to blame."
It's coming in through legal ports of entry, and US citizens are the smugglers.
Lamont saved the county from CoViD's holocaust by outlawing use of sliding boards, swingsets, and fresh air in county parks. He's a wise and compassionate man who is also very sciency.
I have rejected an off topic comment about Biden. Fentanyl is a serious problem and I welcome comments about that, but it appears many of the far-right readers here are incapable of discussing local issues. This might explain why you lose local races.
Bring back the Trooper Rossi assemblies in schools, where a big fella in uniform warned you of the ills of drug use. For those of us who listened and learned, it worked. "Just say no" wasn't all that bad when you had a parent who cared and reinforced it.
Any time I read about another drug epidemic, currently the fentanyl crisis, I can only see another reason our "war on drugs" is helping facilitate drug dealers and the cartels. Take away the incentive of profit and watch the problems dissipate. But decriminalization does not make a great political speech, nor does it put money in the pockets of drug companies and
prison unions, nor add power to government agencies to take away citizens' rights (ex. no knock raids).
Treat addiction for the disease it is, thru education and therapy.
Fetanyl comes primarily from China. It’s pouring into our country via Mexico through our southern border along with any other banned substance or item you can make money on. It’s not necessarily illegals that are doing the smuggling as many of them are
being trafficked as well. The current border policies or lack there of are not helping.
Trooper Rossi rocked!!! Was the best!!!
Off topic but I just saw that Tara Zrinski the socialist is running for controller. Got to give credit where credit is due, come hell or high water she’s determined to make it to the state house or congress. Looking forward to your post on this Bernie.
Are you suggesting parents do not care about their children and like to enforce drug use?
BOH 6:15. Great points. One does not have to be an addict to have a chance encounter with a bad outcome.
The only reason fetanyl is a hot subject nowadays is because middle-class white kids are dying from it.
When the crack epidemic was ravaging the communities of black and brown people in the 80’s, no one gave a shit.
Hypocrisy at it finest.
People of all color do cocaine. Percs. ETC. Your claim is false. Black rappers are dieing of fentanyl as well. Try again.
How do you get so close to the point and miss it entirely?
You were almost there, I encourage you to keep trying…
Post a Comment