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Roundtable discussion set to air on Harrisburg Broadcast Network addressing overdose crisis

The city of Harrisburg and Dauphin County plan to run a TV special to address the drug overdose crisis.
Credit: City of Harrisburg

HARRISBURG, Pa. —  In response to the ongoing spike in drug overdoses seen throughout the City of Harrisburg and Dauphin County, the Harrisburg Broadcast Network, WHBG-TV 20, will air a special called "Help In Harrisburg." 

The program will premiere Friday, Sept. 15 at 7:00 p.m. with City of Harrisburg Communications Director Matt Maisel as moderator. 

It will feature a roundtable panel and a demonstration on how to administer Narcan to people who have symptoms of overdose. 

"Our goal is to create programming that city residents can use to make their lives better," Maisel said. "What we are seeing right now is a crisis in the amount of drug overdoses, that can impact anyone. If we can bring attention to it and let the people of Harrisburg know there is help available, then that benefits everyone."

The special will include medical experts from UPMC, Harrisburg Police Commissioner Tom Carter, Dauphin County Commissioner George Hartwick, Dauphin County Director of Drug & Alcohol Services Kristin Varner, and Dauphin County Deputy Coroner Tommy Reinhard.

From Friday, Sept. 8, until the morning of Thursday, September 14, Dauphin County 911 reportedly received 29 overdose calls, with nine overdose-related fatalities. All nine deaths were individuals between the ages of 56 and 70 years old. 

"We are seeing all sorts of drugs laced with fentanyl. We believe the spike that we're seeing now is the result of a batch of drugs from Philadelphia," said Commissioner Carter. "We need people to know, that if you mess with this, there's no coming back."

The Harrisburg Bureau of Police has a limited supply of Narcan available in its Public Safety Building lobby, located at 123 Walnut Street. 

Dauphin County also provides Narcan and fentanyl test strips through The RASE Project.

Assistance is available through Dauphin County's Drug and Alcohol Services 24 hours a day, by calling (717) 635-2254. UPMC's Center for Addiction Recovery can be reached at (717) 782-4781 and the National Substance Abuse Helpline is 1-800-662-HELP(4357).

"Help In Harrisburg" will also be available to watch at any time on the City of Harrisburg's YouTube channel.

WHBG-TV 20 is a government-access cable TV channel in the City of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Despite its call sign, it is not an FCC-sanctioned terrestrial television station. It is seen in Harrisburg on Comcast cable 20.

The station reaches 32 municipalities served by Comcast on the east and west shores.

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