Panel to Address Substance Abuse Epidemic


As overdose deaths in Pennsylvania reach epidemic proportions and Gov. Tom Wolf proposes legislation to limit prescriptions of addictive opioids for minors, efforts continue to create and promote evidence–based health and safety initiatives to prevent drug use and increase opportunities for early intervention and treatment.

To educate area residents about these efforts, de-stigmatize the disease of addiction and encourage more victims to seek treatment without shame and hesitation, Christ United Methodist Church in Bethel Park will host a panel discussion on Monday evening, Oct. 17. A panel of experts will provide resources, information, and current statistics on what is and can be done to eradicate the devastating epidemic of substance abuse. 

Panelists include:

  • Rev. Keith Kaufold—Eighth Ave. Place/WPA Conference United Methodist Church
  • Chief Timothy O’Connor—Bethel Park Police
  • Dr. Owen Traynor—emergency physician at St. Clair Hospital/medical director for area EMS units
  • Director Nora Helfrich—Tri-Community South EMS
  • The Rev. Canon Dr. Jay Geisler—Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh/The Oasis Recovery Center & CLEAR

A resource table and refreshments will be available at 6:30 p.m. The program starts at 7 p.m.

 For more information, contact Debbie Bates,, or Jeanna-Mar Simmons,