Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Home-Visitor Help

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Home-Visitor Help

Article excerpt

The article "Drug Overdose Deaths Soar 45 Percent in Allegheny County in 2016" (April 7) highlighted a skyrocketing tally of drug-related deaths across our region. I echo the thoughts of Gov. Tom Wolf - the numbers sadden me. It was the article's last sentence, however, that made my heart sink. Young Gregory Lynam left behind a young son.

Addiction can affect everyone. But for parents, the costs of addiction are much greater. Early supports for families make even more sense in the context of addiction. Home visiting, a free program available to any parent, pregnant or with a child under the age of 6, has an outstanding record of improving outcomes for parents and children. For addicted parents, it may make the difference between relapse and recovery.

As a senior adviser in Allegheny County's Department of Human Services from 2014 to 2016, I had the opportunity to shadow a home visitor. …

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