Formed to combat the ongoing epidemic in the area, the Washington County Opioid Overdose Coalition is making an impact and saving lives.
The coalition, whose vision is “to eliminate opioid overdoses, stigma associated with Opioid Use Disorder, and to ensure every patient with an Opioid Use Disorder has access to and support throughout treatment and recovery,” meets monthly at the Washington Drug and Alcohol Commission Building.
Members of the coalition include representatives of the Washington Drug and Alcohol Commission, Washington County District Attorney’s Office, Washington County Coroner’s Office, Washington Ambulance and Chair, Washington Department of Public Safety, Monongahela Valley Hospital, Washington Health System, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The coalition also includes members of the faith-based community, recovery community members, prevention specialists, treatment providers, members of county government, law enforcement, and youth service workers. The coalition’s co-chairs are Cheryl Andrews, Executive Director of the Washington Drug and Alcohol Commission, and President Judge John DiSalle. Eugene A. “Gene” Vittone II, the late District Attorney of Washington County, is honored and remembered as a co-chair and passionate supporter of the Washington County Opioid Overdose Coalition.
The coalition recently approved a three-year strategic plan which identifies the following priorities:
- Coordinate efforts between law enforcement, the legal system, and treatment.
- Increase access and utilization of naloxone to save lives.
- Increase community awareness to reduce stigma.
- Educate individuals and families about addiction and overdose, particularly those at high-risk, and all persons in contact with high-risk individuals ,and those with an OUD or addiction.
- Increase access and utilization of SUD treatment programs.
We would like to hear from you!
This link and QR code will take you to an anonymous survey about attitudes and perceptions about substance use disorder in your community.
Facts About the Opioid Epidemic*
- The number of heroin-involved overdose deaths was nearly seven times higher in 2020 than in 1999.
- More than 932,000 people have died since 1999 from a drug overdose.
- Nearly 75% of drug overdose deaths in 2020 involved an opioid.
- Overdoses involving opioids killed nearly 69,000 people in 2020, and over 82% of those deaths involved synthetic opioids.
- There were 5,331 unintentional overdose deaths in Pennsylvania in 2021.
- Each day on average, nearly 15 Pennsylvanians died from a drug overdose in 2021.
- 84 percent (4,503) were confirmed to be opioid-related, a two percent increase in opioid-related deaths compared to 2020 (4,398).
*National statistics are from www.cdc.gov and state statistics are from www.health.pa.gov
Lives Lost to accidental overdoses in Washington County, PA
- 2019: 77
- 2020: 100
- 2021: 106
- 2022: 87 (as of January 18, 2023)
Do You Need Help Finding Resources for Yourself or a Loved One?
- Washington Drug and Alcohol Commission: (724) 223-1181
- Centers of Excellence: 1-888-810-8595
Coalition Member of the Month
Shenna Wood, WDAC
I love to ride motorcycles with my husband. I am someone in long-term recovery who has witnessed stigma firsthand. I want to be that person to help stop the stigma. The most impactful aspect of being a member of this coalition is the tangible sense that we are making a difference in the lives of individuals and the community at large. Witnessing the collaborative efforts and strategies we implement, seeing the positive outcomes, and knowing that our work is potentially saving lives brings a profound sense of fulfillment and purpose to my commitment. I want my community to understand that recovery is possible. With the power of support and compassion and by standing together we can provide the encouragement and understanding that people need to navigate their journey.
|Cheryl Andrews||Washington Drug & Alcohol Commission, Inc|
|Judge John DiSalle||President Judge, Criminal Specialty Courts|
Prevention / Community Outreach / Recovery Subcommittee Leadership
The Prevention, Community Outreach, and Recovery Subcommittee supports individuals in Washington County communities that have been affected by opioids and opioid overdose. We do this by empowering individuals to make informed choices while reducing stigma through education and outreach in a safe and inclusive environment. Additionally, we will promote access to resources, evidenced-based services, and support.
|Tammy Taylor||Washington Drug and Alcohol Commission|
|Joanna Dragan||CARE Center STTARS Program|
|Shenna Wood||Washington drug and alcohol commission|
|Hollie Zavallo||Washington CO District Attorney|
Harm Reduction / Coordination / Treatment Subcommittee Leadership
The Harm Reduction, Treatment, and Coordination Subcommittee builds connections with first responders, law enforcement, community partners, and treatment providers to facilitate partnerships with the recovery community. We provide education for these partners who save lives daily, facilitate warm hand-offs to treatment, and promote person-centered recovery. This empowers partners to engage people where they are to decrease overdose and increase the health and well-being of Washington County
|Breanne Pugh||Washington Drug & Alcohol Commission|
|Rachel Lee-Price||Beacon Health Options|
|Regina Sicchitano||Ambulance and Chair EMS, Inc.|
|Mayor David Rhome||Mayor of Canonsburg|