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Saint Vincent professor shares drug study findings with state lawmakers

Renatta Signorini
| Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017, 3:12 p.m.
Eric Kocian speaks to the crowd during a public forum regarding his study with John Lewis on opioid addiction Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017, at St. Vincent College.
Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Eric Kocian speaks to the crowd during a public forum regarding his study with John Lewis on opioid addiction Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017, at St. Vincent College.

A drug-related study completed by a Saint Vincent College professor recently got the attention of state lawmakers.

Eric Kocian, assistant professor of criminology, law and society at the Unity college, shared the results with members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, according to a news release issued Wednesday.

Kocian in September presented the results of his study in Westmoreland County that looked at how participants got hooked on drugs.

For two years, he compiled the results of surveys with 158 drug users and people in recovery in the county and, with the help of Indiana University of Pennsylvania professor John Lewis, analyzed the data.

The study examined what drugs participants used, at what age they started using them and how treatment options worked .

“The heroin and opioid crisis is a challenge facing the entire Commonwealth and members of our legislature,” state Rep. Ron Marsico, committee chair, said in the news release.

Kocian hopes to replicate the study's findings locally with a larger pool of participants.

Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-837-5374, or via Twitter @byrenatta.

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