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Thanks to everyone that participated in the 4th annual Chester County Color 5k!

The Chester County Color 5k is a family-friendly, timed 5k run/walk. Runners, walkers and children of all ages are welcome! 

Since our first Chester County Color 5k in 2016, the annual race has raised $110,000+. Each year, over a thousand people have either participated or cheered on participants along the race course in West Chester.  Many of them have personal reasons for taking part and will continue to build teams to honor loved ones who have fallen into addiction or who have lost their lives to opioid and heroin abuse.

We all know someone whose life has been shattered by the opioid and heroin epidemic. Chester County remains committed to tackling this scourge through intensive health, education, treatment, and law enforcement measures, coordinated by our Overdose Prevention Task Force. Through the County’s innovative COPE program (Community Outreach and Prevention Education), opioid overdose survivors who are treated in a Chester County emergency room can meet with a certified recovery specialist within an hour of coming into the ER. The goal is to move the overdose survivor from the ER to treatment (with their approval) regardless of insurance status, and to work with the survivor and family on how to navigate insurance coverage and ways to get the treatment. The peer specialist also meets with family members to give important information, provide Narcan and education on how to use it.  

Special thanks go to our 2019 presenting sponsor, John R. Gailey III and JoEllen Berger Charitable Fund. Take a look at all of the 2019 Sponsors who have so generously donated this year to help combat opioid and heroin addiction in Chester County.

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What else are we doing here in Chester County to address the opioid and heroin problem? 

We have established an Overdose Prevention Task Force, led by our Commissioners, District Attorney, Health Department and Department of Drug and Alcohol Services.  The District Attorney is taking a strong stance in the arrest and prosecution of individuals who deal the drugs (and he even notes that dealers now charge a premium to come to Chester County), while diverting addicts into counseling and treatment.

Members of our Department of Drug and Alcohol Services are going to great lengths to ensure that access to appropriate drug treatment is available. The department is also conducting public awareness events and working with County and community partners to educate the public on prevention and treatment resources, overdose risks and responses, prescription medication misuse/abuse and medication collection boxes, and other topics including insurance laws and benefits for substance abuse treatment.    

Our Health Department is tackling the epidemic from a public health perspective, setting up an overdose death review team to track data, identify trends and make recommendations for policy creation.  Importantly, they are focusing on the education of doctors and other health care providers on opiate prescribing practices.