Death by accidental drug overdose in Westmoreland County has increased four-fold to more than 80 per year during the past decade. Shamefully, that's among the highest in Pennsylvania and the nation!
But even worse, numerous overdosed residents are transported to other counties where they are pronounced dead.
In the news story “Western Pa. drug overdoses reach ‘epidemic levels'” (Oct. 3 and TribLIVE.com), the current district attorney stated that he believes about 80 percent of Westmoreland County crimes are attributable to drug and alcohol addiction.
Although the situation is epidemic, it was virtually ignored by the incumbent DA until the county commissioners recently appointed a large task force to attack it.
Many months ago, GOP district attorney candidate Peter Borghetti and GOP coroner candidate Christopher O'Leath proposed a joint community outreach initiative to attack the drug problem on a multifaceted basis, educating children and adults on prevention as well as recovery.
They support the proposed drug court that will handle the special needs of those who need recovery and rehabilitation to put them on the path to becoming productive members of our communities.
In addition, they support registration of convicted drug dealers, similar to registration of sex offenders, to make citizens aware of these predators in their neighborhoods.
If lives are to be saved here, we need real leaders in Greensburg who reject the status quo and are committed to proactively addressing the drug issues. Peter Borghetti and Christopher O'Leath are those leaders.
They get my vote on Nov. 5 — how about yours?
Thomas J. Wubben
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