Chester County Participates in Prevention Events to Combat Opioid Epidemic

addictionImage by Charles Thompson

WEST CHESTER, PA — Chester County’s Department of Drug & Alcohol Services (CCDDAS) recognizes the impact COVID-19 has had, and states it will continue to have on our communities, and notes that the opioid and overdose crisis, along with other substance use disorders are still extremely prevalent. In some ways, the crisis is exacerbated by the pandemic.

In a continued effort to prevent further Opioid Use Disorders (OUD) and accidental overdose death, several community events have been coordinated during the month of April. All event details and registrations can be found on www.chesco.org/drugandalcohol. Events include:

  • Mobile Medication Collection hosted by Tredyffrin Police Department on Friday, April 9, 2021, at Surrey Services, 60 Surrey Way, Devon, Pa 19333 from 11:30 am-12:30 pm. Citizens are invited to dispose of unneeded or expired medications.
  • Virtual Opioid Epidemic and Narcan Training hosted by Chester County Hospital on Wednesday, April 21, 2021, from 6:00 pm-7:30 pm. Each participant will receive training on the use of naloxone and receive a dose of naloxone at no charge. Registration is required for the training.
  • Mobile Medication Collection hosted by Chester County Hospital and the Chester County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday, April 22, 2021, from 4:30 pm-7:00 pm at the Chester County Hospital South Campus, 701 E Marshall Street, West Chester, Pa 19380. Citizens are invited to dispose of unneeded or expired medications.
  • Mobile Medication Collection hosted by Tredyffrin Police Department on Friday, April 23, 2021, at Surrey Services, 60 Surrey Way, Devon, Pa 19333 from 11:30 am-12:30 pm. Citizens are invited to dispose of unneeded or expired medications.
  • National DEA Drug Take Back Day hosted by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on Saturday, April 24, 2021, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm temporary prescription drug disposal sites will be set up throughout Chester County.
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Residents are asked to, please wear a mask and practice social distancing at all locations.

“In order to decrease first-time misuse of prescription drugs, it is crucial to begin with prevention efforts,” said Vince Brown, Director of the Chester County Department of Drug and Alcohol Services.  “In addition to education and awareness, prescription drug misuse prevention includes locking up or monitoring prescription medications that are in the home, and disposing of any unneeded or expired prescription medications at a medication collection box.”

Prescription painkillers such as Vicodin, Percocet, Oxycodone, Fentanyl, and Morphine, among others, are in the opioid classification of prescription drugs. Opioid prescription drugs essentially have the same chemical make-up as heroin, which means they affect the brain and body the same. (Opioid prescription drugs have had a large hand in the opioid and heroin epidemic which our county, as well as our country, is currently facing.)

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If you, or a loved one are struggling with drugs or alcohol, help is available. Drug and alcohol treatment and support services, which include 12-step meetings and other supports, have, and will continue to be available through the pandemic.

Regardless of whether you have insurance or not, drug and alcohol treatment services are available in Chester County. Accessing the services will be dependent upon individual coverage. If you have insurance, including Medicaid, please call the number listed on the back of your insurance card to get information on how to access drug and alcohol services. If you do not have insurance, please call one of the following agencies which is closest to you, for help:

  • Gaudenzia Coatesville(Coatesville) – 610-383-9600
  • Mirmont Outpatient (Exton) – 484-565-1130
  • Holcomb Behavioral Health Systems (Kennett Square) – 610-388-9225
  • Creative Health Services (Phoenixville)- 610-933-1223
  • Gaudenzia West Chester (West Chester) – 610-429-1414
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In addition to drug and alcohol treatment, other recovery supports and human services are also still available. The Chester County Human Services COVID-19 Resource Guide can be found at www.chesco.org/drugandalcohol.

To access the Chester County Overdose Prevention Task Force website, go to www.stopodchesco.org.

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