Drop the Drugs!

Removing unwanted and unused opioids and prescription drugs from our medicine cabinets and keeping them off the streets of Greater Hazleton, PA.

Help Fund Hazleton’s “Drop the Drugs” Van

A mobile drug drop-off location to help keep excess and unwanted prescription drugs out of the hands of our children

Paul Brenner
Businessman and Rotarian

I am working to gain support to expand into Greater Hazleton a successful program currently underway in Susquehanna County. The “Drop the Drugs” mobile van is an initiative started by Susquehanna County District Attorney Robert Klein, and staffed by the county sheriff’s office, to make it easier for residents to safely and securely dispose of old or unwanted prescription drugs.

The van will have to operate with 2 police officers at all times.

The “Drop the Drugs” van will be scheduled in advance by any group or organization simply by emailing details to our coordinator.

My goal is to have this project funded by donations from a broad base of local businesses and organizations along with any help we can obtain from our legislators.

The point is simple: Let’s make it easier to get these addictive drugs out of our medicine cabinets and off our streets. The earlier these opiates are taken out of our medicine cabinets and properly destroyed, the safer our community will be.

Title Sponsor

Lehigh Valley Health Network

Sponsors

($500 and above)

Altadis
Pathway to Recovery
Hazleton Creek Properties
DeFebo Graphics
Brenner Recycling
Dekka Studios

Hazleton Unico
Landmark Community Bank
Sheetz
Harry’s U-Pull It
Tony Martyak
Covenant Abstract

Special thanks to committee members:
Mark Ondishin – Luzerne Tire
Joe Cerullo – Unico
Attorney Robert Sensky – Laputka, Bayless, Ecker and Cohn, P.C.

See additional sponsorship opportunities below!

Sponsorship Opportunities

Please help curb the opioid crisis in our community by supporting this very important local project!

Title Sponsor: $10,000
Van Sponsor

VIP Sponsor: $5,000
Wrap advertising sponsor

Presenting Sponsor: $2,500
Educational material

Excellence Award Sponsor: $1,000
Collection box sponsor

Silver Sponser: $500

Mail donations to:

Hazleton Rotary Foundation (a 501(c)3 organization)
282 S. Wyoming Street
Hazleton, PA 18201

Program Expenses

Type of Cost One-TIme Cost
Van acquisition $15,000
Fuel costs $1,000*
Insurance $1,000*
Light bar $800
Drop Boxes (2) $1,500
Police Radio $600
Educational Material $3,000*
Advertising $3,000*
Van Wrapping $5,000
Police Wages $18,000*
Phone Line and E-mail $600*
Administrative Costs $3,000*
STARTUP & FIRST YEAR $52,500
ONGOING ANNUAL OPERATION $29,600

How You Can Help

Donations to help fund the “Drop the Drugs” van in Hazleton  can be made by sending a check payable to:
Hazleton Rotary Foundation (a registered 501(c)3 organization)
282 S. Wyoming Street
Hazleton, PA 18201

Published in the Hazleton Standard-Speaker

May 23, 2017

Editor,

I am writing to thank Congressman Lou Barletta for hosting, with state Rep. Tarah Toohil and state Sen. John Yudichak, the recent forum to discuss the heroin and opioid crisis. As the congressman and his fellow panelists made clear, this is truly an epidemic affecting all segments of our community.

In Luzerne County last year, for instance, 141 people died due to heroin overdoses. That alone should move every concerned member of our community to action.

I was particularly impressed with the work that Congressman Barletta is doing in Washington to help babies born addicted to heroin and opioids. As the congressman noted, a baby is born addicted every 25 minutes. He passed legislation to strengthen “safe care” plans for these babies and their mothers, and led the effort in Congress to pass bipartisan legislation allocating $181 million for addiction treatment and prevention.

Barletta also voted for the American Health Care Act, which, contrary to false statements by some in the media and on the other side of the aisle, provides states with $130 billion to use toward a number of health care needs, including mental health and substance abuse treatment.

The same week as the health care vote, Barletta voted to put another billion dollars toward the heroin and opioid epidemic as part of the bill to fund the government through September.

While I applaud our congressman for his leadership, and the panel of professionals including our city’s chief of police, our county district attorney, an addiction counselor, and a physician, more people in our community must take his example and get engaged if we want to seriously address this problem.

Given the severity of this issue, I was disappointed in the lack of participation at the forum. We all must do more.

I am working to gain support to expand into Greater Hazleton a successful program currently underway in Susquehanna County. The “Drop the Drugs” mobile van is an initiative started by Susquehanna County District Attorney Robert Klein, and staffed by the county sheriff’s office, to make it easier for residents to safely and securely dispose of old or unwanted prescription drugs.

Our van would be manned by members of the Hazleton Police Department and attend local community events to allow people to dispose of their unwanted prescription drugs. My goal is to have this project funded by donations from a broad base of local businesses and organizations along with any help we can obtain from our legislators.

The point is simple: Let’s make it easier to get these addictive drugs out of our medicine cabinets and off our streets. The earlier these opiates are taken out of our medicine cabinets and properly destroyed, the safer our community will be.

I have met with a number of local law enforcement and elected officials, as well as local service clubs and organizations, who have voiced support for a Drop the Drug van. However, in order to be successful, the program will need financial support. For more information or to contribute to this initiative, please contact me at pbrenner@ptd.net or 570-956-6292.

If out of the recent forum we can gain momentum for this initiative in our city, we will have made great strides toward combatting this crisis and creating a healthier community.

Paul Brenner

Sam talks with Paul Brenner, Coordinator of the Hazleton “Drop the Drugs” Program, Hazleton City Police Chief Jerry Speziale, and Melissa Curto, VP of Ambulatory Services at Lehigh Valley Health Network about their involvement in the program.

Learn more about the nation’s opioid crisis in this Wall Street Journal video.

Donate

Mail donations to:

Hazleton Rotary Foundation
282 S. Wyoming Street
Hazleton, PA 18201

Contact

For information on helping start Hazleton’s “Drop the Drugs” mobile van, contact Paul Brenner at 570-956-6292 or by email.

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