ALTOONA, BLAIR COUNTY - Emergency personnel say actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman was found dead with a needle in his arm and that's brought national attention to the dangers of heroin.
Closer to home, 22 people died in Western Pennsylvania over the past couple of weeks, with most of those deaths linked to heroin blended with the powerful pain killer, fentanyl.
Those who work in drug and alcohol prevention in our region hope the recent attention to the danger, prompts users to seek treatment, instead of a more powerful high.
In Blair County, Drug and Alcohol Program Executive Director Judy Rosser says most people with an addiction can get a free assessment within a day or two, and then receive help getting into a treatment program. There is help available, even if you don't have health insurance.
"You're not alone and there are other people out there that can help you along this path and please do it, make that call today and get that help because there is hope for you," Rosser says.
Rosser says the drug and alcohol program will help you find the right treatment plan, and guide you through the process of enrollment.
She's also hoping that families and friends of heroin users will intervene and help get them into treatment. The Blair DAP has a Hope support group for familiy members that meets Wednesdays at 5:30 pm at their office at 3001 Fairway Drive, Suite D, in Altoona. You can reach the Blair County Drug and Alcohol Program at 814-381-0921.