US Attorney Launches Press Play PA to Fight Drug Addiction

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Demetrius Brown attributes an arrest in 2018 for starting his path to recovery. “I wasn’t doing anything for myself selling and using drugs,” Brown said. “I have hit rock bottom.” Brown said it was the right people at the right time that gave him a second chance. “Luckily people haven’t given up on me and I think that’s the most important thing in recovery,” Brown said. Jeff Patterson of Greensburg has a similar story. “I didn’t get clean and sober until I was 57,” Patterson said. Now they are the two faces of a campaign to help others struggling with drug addiction. In Westmoreland County, 123 people died of drug overdoses in 2020. In Allegheny County, 689 people have died. Both counties reported an increase over previous years. Acting U.S. Attorney Stephen Kaufman was in Greensburg on Monday to announce the Press Play PA program. The advertising campaign will include social media videos and billboards on local highways and bus shelters. The goal is simple: let people know that there is help. “We also want to reduce the demand for drugs and especially to help people with addiction to recover.” Brown said he was making the most of his second chance. He is now focusing on work and looking after his three children. He hopes that by being a part of this campaign, he can help other people have the same luck as him. through the same things I’ve done is heartbreaking, ”Brown said. The US Attorney’s Office funds the program through the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Zone. Westmoreland County joined Allegheny, Beaver and Washington Counties to receive resources in 2020.

Demetrius Brown attributes an arrest in 2018 for starting his path to recovery.

“I wasn’t doing anything for myself selling and using drugs,” Brown said. “I have hit rock bottom.”

Brown said it was the right people at the right time that gave him a second chance.

“Luckily people haven’t given up on me and I think that’s the most important thing in recovery,” Brown said.

Jeff Patterson of Greensburg has a similar story.

“I didn’t get clean and sober until I was 57,” said Patterson.

Patterson and Brown made their way through Westmoreland County Drug Court. Now they are the two faces of a campaign to help others struggling with drug addiction.

In Westmoreland County, 123 people died of drug overdoses in 2020. In Allegheny County, 689 people have died. Both counties reported an increase over previous years.

Acting U.S. Attorney Stephen Kaufman was in Greensburg on Monday to announce the Press Play PA program. The advertising campaign will include social media videos and billboards on local highways and bus shelters.

The goal is simple: let people know that there is help.

“Law enforcement alone is not the answer,” Kaufman said. “We also want to reduce the demand for drugs and especially to help people with addiction to recover.”

Brown said he was making the most of his second chance. He is now focusing on work and looking after his three children. He hopes that by being a part of this campaign, he can help other people get the same chance as him.

“I see people on the other side who haven’t had the chance to meet people like I did, and seeing them every day go through the same things that I do is heartbreaking,” Brown said.

The United States Attorney’s Office funds the program through the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Zone. Westmoreland County joined Allegheny, Beaver and Washington Counties to receive resources in 2020.


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