WPSU to air statewide call-in forum on heroin

Heroin use in Pennsylvania is a growing problem in communities as large as Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and as small as Bellefonte and Philipsburg.

According to WPSU, young people are at particular risk, with the average first-time user being just 23, and turning to heroin after becoming addicted to prescription pain medication.

Penn State Public Media will simulcast “On Heroin: A Commonwealth Crisis” at 8 p.m. Thursday on WPSU, along with stations in Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Bethlehem and Scranton. Affiliates in Erie and Philadelphia will air the program at a later date.

The show will include experts discussing what led to the growth of the drug use and will offer prevention and treatment information.

Centre County Youth Service Bureau prevention coordinator Alison Turley will be among the panelists. Others include Lycoming County President Judge Nancy Butts, Pinnacle Health System toxicologist Ward Donovan and Lancaster addiction specialist Dr. Joseph Troncale.

Viewers can participate by calling 800-543-8242 during the show, or emailing comments or questions to Twitter users can participate by using the address @WPSU and the hashtag #PAheroincrisis.

Locals can participate in person by registering to be a part of the studio audience at