From Lehigh Valley Live
By Rhonda Miller
Nearly 200 people came together last month on a rainy Saturday night in Bethlehem, participating in a community forum addressing the opioid epidemic. Opioid overdoses are the leading cause of accidental death in our region, state and nation. We lose more than 2,000 people in Pennsylvania and more than 50,000 people nationwide each year.
Having lost my son Ben to this epidemic, my mission and the mission of our organization, Speak Up for Ben, which organized the forum, is to prevent more families from going through what my family has gone through.
He was mayor of a Schuylkill County town at age 22. Two years later, heroin claimed his life
Michael RubinkamOf The Associated Press
Janel Firestone found her son — the 24-year-old, just resigned mayor of the tiny town of Mount Carbon, in what she assumed was a deep sleep. She tried to wake him for his overnight shift at the local supermarket, but he couldn’t be roused, even after she sprinkled him with water from a wet washcloth.