Mountain Top Rotary Club To Host Community Forum On Opioid Crisis

With opioid drug abuse on the rise and not just affecting those residing in cities, but people in areas like this one, the Mountain Top Rotary Club has organized a community forum to discuss the opioid crisis in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The discussion will be held on Oct. 26, at 7 p. m., at the Crestwood Secondary Campus and will allow residents to not only become educated about opioid abuse, but also to question two knowledgeable physicians about the epidemic.

“It’s for education and prevention,” related Jo Gulvas, president of the local Rotary Club. “We need to get people educated and, in doing that, we’re helping our community.”

The idea for the forum occurred to Rotary Club members after Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis spoke of the opioid crisis at a Rotary business mixer earlier this year at King’s Restaurant. The DA gave advice on how residents can deter drug dealing in their neighborhoods, such as by reporting suspicious vehicles and heavy traffic at homes late at night.

Rotary members decided after that mixer that more public education was needed about opioid abuse, Gulvas explained. On almost a weekly basis, she said, someone from the Rotary has known of someone connected to a person who has died from opioid overdoses. She personally has known two families who have recently lost members in such a tragic way.

“For me it got real personal. I know two families who are suffering,” Gulvas said. She continued of opioid drug abuse, “It doesn’t get discussed enough. It becomes a type of conversation that’s in the closet. That leads people to feel shameful about it. It needs to be exposed.”

By educating the people of Mountaintop at this forum, Gulvas hopes that the epidemic of opioid abuse can be lessened. People don’t

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