Families of heroin users urged to shake stigma of addiction

HALIFAX, Pa. (WHTM) — Dozens turned out for an emotional town hall meeting Wednesday evening in Halifax.

The event sponsored by the Natalie Cribari Drug Awareness Fund featured a panel of guest speakers, including parents of children who have died from drug overdoses and recovering addicts.

Organizer John Cribari, whose daughter died from drug abuse in 2006 in Dauphin County, told other parents in attendance not to shy away from seeking help. Additionally, he says families need to attempt to get over the embarrassment or negative stigma often associated with drug addiction.

“It took me a long time to deal with the grief on my own,” said Cribari. “Parents get stigmatized. They don’t want to talk about it. They don’t want to talk to their friends or even co-workers about a drug addiction with one of their kids. So they hide it. They try to deal with it the best they can on their own, and that is absolutely the wrong thing to do.”

Cribari says help is there for addicts living in Pennsylvania. For those looking for recovery resources, he suggests visiting websites for both the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) and Dauphin County Drug and Alcohol Services.

“There are a ton of resources in Pennsylvania,” adds Cribari. “Pennsylvania is doing a lot of great things in regards to recovery and access. You’ve just got to make that first phone call.”


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