Our Local Heroin Addiction
- Boalsburg group works to help those battling addiction
- 12 face charges in Blair Co. drug sweep
- 4 charged in alleged bath salts ring in Elk Co.
- 30 charged in Cambria Co. drug sweep
- Several arrested in Huntingdon Co. drug sweep
- Pennsylvania looks to curb painkiller abuse
- Task force to deal with heroin planned in Centre Co.
- Cambria Co. woman pleads guilty to drug possession
- Three people face charges in Cambria Co. drug bust
- Police investigating Blair Co. pharmacy robbery
- Battling prescription drug trafficking an ongoing effort
- AG Kane: Heroin problem in Johnstown is out of control
- Drug-related crimes causing prison population spike
- Jefferson Co. woman arrested, bond set at $5 million
- Officials: Heroin that caused 12 overdoses did not contain fentanyl
- 9 charged in Blair Co. drug sweep
- Authorities warn about batch of heroin linked to 8 overdoses
- Panel held at St. Francis focuses on emerging drug trends
- Heroin mixed with fentanyl is a deadly combination
- 12 heroin overdoses in 72 hours linked to same batch
- Police find large amount of heroin, fentanyl during bust
- Two arrested in Huntingdon heroin bust
- Police searching for man after two homes raided in Johnstown
- 2 arrested, $30K in heroin seized along turnpike in Somerset Co.
- Sage's Army talks heroin addiction to Somerset students
- 22 face charges in Blair Co. drug bust
- St. Francis University to hold panel to continue drug discussion
- Landlords get training to spot drug-dealing tenants
- Argument at Richland Twp. hotel leads police to drug bust
- Heroin: Our Town's Addiction
- 'Heroin: Our Town's Addiction' - A WJAC-TV special
- 'Heroin: Our Town's Addiction' - Part 2
- 7 kilos of raw heroin seized on PA Turnpike
- WEB EXTRA: "Dak's Song"
- Heroin: Our Town's Addiction – Drug Treatment Resources
- Heroin: A story of grief and hope
- 2 arrested for delivering heroin in Altoona
- Two arrested with heroin after Johnstown traffic stop
- Two arrested in State College area burglary spree
Boalsburg group works to help those battling addiction
By: Lauren Hensley
BOALSBURG, Pa. -- A force of change: That's the goal of one Centre County group after losing their beloved friend to a heroin overdose in January.
The Order of Elizabeth was created to honor a Boalsburg native Elizabeth "Lizzie" Smeltzer after she died unintentionally of a drug overdose.
It's one of the earliest forms of portable light and for centuries candles have used to turn darkness into light, and The Order of Elizabeth is using candle making-making as a form of healing and helping to bring a dark secret of the Centre region into the light --the community's heroin problem.
"As far as the community goes, I am still not convinced that they are 100 percent at how pervasive it truly is," member Debbie Ritter said.
The group calls themselves the Order of Elizabeth, first formed to help friends of Lizzie Smeltzer cope with the pain and sorrow following her fatal heroin overdose.
"Lizzie was my best friend and she was so funny and caring and vibrant, intelligent and beautiful, and she was not the type of girl who you would think was doing drugs," member Beverly Hartman said.
Quickly the mission of evolved with many members wanting to do more to fight the uphill drug battle plaguing the area.
"So much of the thinking we do is looking at the social scene and social pressures of this town to try and understand why here, why now," member Jennifer Harp said.
Working as a force of change, the group began making candles to spread the light.
"We felt Lizzie always had a light within her so we came up with the idea of Lizzie's light," member Sophie Restall said.
The group makes and sells candles in honor of Lizzie and to represent anyone struggling with addiction. Money raised will go towards buying supplies and continuing community outreach. They've got big plans for the future, but for now, focus remains on bringing this problem into the light and a strong message for anyone battling addiction.
"There are people who are supporting you and love you and getting help is the best thing you can do for you and everyone that you love," member Alaina Henry said.
If you are interested in learning more about the Order of Elizabeth, click here.