Warren Co. DA, Youngsville police chief attend McWaPEC meeting

McWaPEC (McKean, Warren, Potter, Elk, & Cameron Counties) officials met Thursday in Youngsville. Before the general meeting, Youngsville Police Chief Todd Mineweaser presented ways to deal with the opioid epidemic at the county level.

The McWaPEC (McKean, Warren, Potter, Elk, Cameron) officials met on Thursday, Feb. 23 for a general meeting. Warren County District Attorney Rob Greene and Youngsville Chief of Police Todd Mineweaser presented a video, displays, and information to help counties deal with opioid abuse.

Mineweaser indicated the “Drug Takeback Box” located in the Youngsville Police Department for citizens to dispose of unused medications. Mineweaser said when they began the program, 21 lbs. of prescriptions were turned in and the current amount is 600 lbs. The idea is to keep the unused prescriptions out of the hands of addicts. Opioid dealers sell one type for $80 per pill, while others cost $160 per pill.

District Attorney Rob Greene told the group that opioid addiction is happening to people in their 40’s and beyond, not just kids. A doctor prescribes an opioid to fight pain from surgery or for other painful events, and the person unknowingly becomes addicted and can’t break the craving for more when the prescriptions end. And hospitals are rated by pain management data collected from consumer feedback, so the hospital wants to do a good job keeping people from feeling pain so they prescribe potent drugs, Greene said.

Mineweaser said one way to overcome the craving is with Narcan. And naloxone is administered by emergency personnel for opioid overdoses. Warren County Drug Task Force training includes ARIDE, and Mineweaser said we need more Drug Recognition Experts (DRE).

Sadly, we recently lost two county youths because of opioid abuse, according to Mineweaser. Addicts watch obituaries for people who die of cancer and break into homes hoping to find opioids. So local funeral homes are encouraged to remind family members to immediately dispose of unused prescriptions as a precaution.