Heroin Epidemic in York, PA

Heroin is a problem that is rapidly growing in York, PA. The epidemic has claimed the lives of many people.  The death rate in York County has almost doubled in 2017. There is more heroin related deaths in York County than traffic accident deaths.


Heroin has a major effect on the addict and the addicts family.  In York County, prescription drugs are considered a gateway drug.  Most addicts start with prescription drugs and move on to heroin. Heroin is much cheaper than prescription drugs.  Addicts begin stealing from family and friends to support their addiction.


Narcan is a substance that reverses the affects of heroin and most times brings the abuser out of an overdose.  Narcan is made available to York County law enforcement and the public free of charge. It has saved many lives in York County, and it is available in a nasal spray, and also can be injected thru the abusers clothes.


York County has received funding to improve the county run treatment facility.  The renovation was approved in 2016.  There is one county run rehab facility in York County. The funding will be used to add more beds in the facility and update the existing building.  Rehab beds are not always available in York County.  They are in such high demand that there is often times a wait to be accepted into the facility.  The added beds should help lower the overdose death rates in York County.


There is an ongoing debate in York County, whether addiction is a disease or a choice.  In my opinion addiction is a disease, but also a choice is made to pick up the drug.  Addictive personalities most times run in the family.  Once the addict starts to use the drug, they will go through withdraw when trying to stop.  Some of the symptoms of withdraw are cold sweats, shakes, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Task Force

There is also a York County drug task force, made up of law enforcement officer specializing in drug investigations.  The drug task force is helping York County get the drug dealers off the streets. If the dealers are off the streets the abusers are more likely to seek help with their addiction.


Many families in York County are affected by this epidemic.  My family is one of the affected.  My sister is a recovering addict. She has been through multiple rehab stays. Most recently she was sentenced to time in jail.  While incarcerated, In York County Prison my sister was able to clear her mind from any mind altering drugs she was putting in her system.  It was then that she made the decision to start living a free and clean life.


I will forever be thankful to the York County law enforcement officers that arrested my sister.  If it wasn’t for there hard work and dedication  and getting her charged for crimes that she committed she would more than likely been a statistic in York County. My sister has been clean and sober for almost 2 years and is not helping other addicts.  She is working at a rehab facility and is living life to the fullest.  She is attending classes to become a drug and alcohol counselor, and engaged to be married.  Heroin addiction is very hard to overcome. But it can be done.


The best advice I can give anyone dealing with an addiction is never give up hope.  In the darkest days of your addiction, getting clean and sober will feel like the last thing you are capable of doing.  There is a way out of the cycle.  Family members dealing with an addict in the family, don’t turn your back on your loved one.  They need your support.  There is help available in York County for anyone looking to start a new and sober life.


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