Judiciary Committee Holds Informational Meeting on the Study and Treatment of Opioid Addiction
HARRISBURG – House Judiciary Committee Majority Chairman Ron Marsico (R-Dauphin) held an informational committee meeting today to gather statistics on the prevention and treatment of opioid addiction.

“I, and the members of the House Judiciary Committee, continue to be dedicated to continuously collecting information on the opioid and heroin epidemic in Pennsylvania, in the hopes that we will be able to come up with legislative changes to end this increasingly frightening situation that is killing hundreds of our family members and friends daily,” said Marsico. “The House Judiciary Committee has hosted previous informational hearings on this topic, has drafted legislation to combat the problem and continues to work on legislative fixes that will provide real remedies to the overwhelming problem we’ve been facing.”

Dr. Eric Kocian, assistant professor of Criminology, Law, and Society at Saint Vincent College, testified and provided the committee with statistics regarding age range of users, the backgrounds of those users, including the types of drugs the participants used, as well as when and how often they were used.

The study, conducted by Dr. Kocian, of Saint Vincent College, and Dr. John Lewis, of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, found that most first-time drug users used something other than heroin, such as meth, LSD and prescription drugs, and that people under the age of 21 who consumed alcohol were more likely to use marijuana and prescription drugs over heroin.

Additionally, the study found that stress didn’t seem to be a component in whether or not an individual used drugs. However, treatment methods seemed to play a large part in how effectively the users were able to stay off drugs. Mandated treatment was found to be highly ineffective.

“The bottom line of this study was that we must take a closer look at, specifically, what is causing people to use various drugs and what the typical progression of use is,” said Marsico. “These types of findings will hopefully bring us closer to devising solid solutions we can implement in order to make a real difference and, ultimately, eradicate the problem altogether.”

Representative Ronald Marsico
105th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Autumn R. Southard, 717.652.3721

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