County Officials Worry About Increase in Heroin Cases

By Mallory Lane

Published 04/08 2014 06:13PM

Updated 04/08 2014 06:23PM

BELLEFONTE, CENTRE COUNTY - It's an ongoing problem across the nation and it's becoming a big issue in our region, too.

As one of the most addictive drugs, heroin is highly saturated throughout the state and is becoming increasingly difficult to handle. Centre County officials said they're having to commit more resources they don't necessarily have to control it.

"It's a tight budget," Cathy Arbogast, Assistant Administrator for the Drug and Alcohol Office of Centre County, said.

A tight budget for a major issue. That's why Arbogast is worried.

"Our outpatient providers have come to us, we have more individuals seeking outpatient services, they're in outpatient services longer," she said.

Arbogast works with the Drug and Alcohol Office of Centre County. They're having to pull additional funds that aren't always there, from the local government to keep up with the demand.

"We're managing things as closely as we can. We're also working very collaboratively with other local organizations to identify those individuals who are eligible for medical assistance, so we can offset some of our expenses," she said.

She said the demographic of people abusing heroin is changing, too.

"We're seeing a lot of folks in the 22 to 44 age range," Arbogast said. "We're seeing folks who have a long history of substance use who are seeking services. There aren't that many Penn State students who are coming to us."

Arbogast hopes as awareness continues to grow locally and nationally, the number of heroin cases decline.

"We're doing what we can to get folks connected with the resources they need so not only can they achieve recovery by accessing treatment services, but they maintain their recovery once they've completed that service," she said.

For more information about the services available to those who may have a drug addiction problem, visit this website.

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