On February 27th, 2018, New Vitae Wellness Foundation hosted Lisa Wolff, Senior Manager of Special Programs for the Center for Humanistic Change, to facilitate a Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Education presentation.  Training participants were also invited to explore a mock teenage bedroom to learn of a variety of possible hiding places for substances.

Ms. Wolff reviewed the dangers of heroin and opioid use, combining statistics with the personal impact of local residents’ stories of substance use.  The interactive presentation included startling facts and trends pertaining to substance use, including:

•    Eighty percent of heroin users started their use via prescription drugs
•    In the United States, one person dies every 19 minutes from an opioid overdose
•    Substances used to cut heroin include fentanyl, other drugs, and household cleaners.
•    In the United States, two million people are addicted to prescription opioids; Five hundred thousand are addicted to heroin
•    In Pennsylvania, overdose deaths increased 37% from 2015 to 2016

The presentation highlighted the dangers associated with the various methods of heroin ingestion, the day-to-day objects that can be used to conceal substance use, and the method of action of opioids in the brain.  Ms. Wolff introduced Joe to the audience, a young man who has achieved over two and a half years of sobriety.  Joe shared his personal story of heroin and other substance use.  Both presenters offered behavioral and physical signs of opioid use as well as symptoms associated with overdose.

This amazing training opportunity was open to the community, with several professionals, parents, and school employees in attendance.  Many participants took advantage of the training to obtain continuing education credits through the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).  We wish to thank Ms. Wolff and the Center for Humanistic Change for the opportunity to learn more about opioid use and prevention! Contact New Vitae Wellness and Recovery for more information.