State Officials List Details in Battle against Opioids

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- One year ago, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced a statewide declaration to battle the rise in opioid deaths.

On Monday, state leaders gave a progress report and released details of a campaign to promote a 24-hour helpline.

A preliminary report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows opioid-related deaths in our state dropped 11 percent last year.

But state leaders say opioid addiction remains an epidemic in Pennsylvania.

The group that gathered Monday says the epidemic remains a crisis, but a crisis that may be contained.

"We've made significant strides to provide access to treatment, to curb the availability of opioids, and to inform individuals about how to access services," said Secretary Jennifer Smith, Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs.

Smith calls efforts to curb the opioid crisis relentless. Smith says that this year, the state will spend an additional $56 million on several programs, including drug education helping professionals in the field of addiction re-pay college loans, and creating a public service campaign to publicize a 24-hour drug hotline.

"We've learned from the front lines, from educators, law enforcement officer, judges, coroners, researchers, and community workers," said Ray Barishansky from the state Opioid Command Center.

State officials say their efforts to put the overdose reversal drug Narcan in the hands of enough police and emergency workers prevented 9,000 people from dying from an opioid overdose.

The group also say prescriptions for opioid painkillers were down by 24 percent last year.

5 comments

  • Bob Stevens

    Build the wall to greatly reduce the flow of drugs from cartels, take on big pharma, end the war on drugs so medical MJ can be used, and stop the CIA from running drugs to the inner cities.

  • DC Ump

    Would like to know just how many opioid cases are attributed to stolen drugs from within the families, big pharma is to easy to make a buck on the consumer searching for a way out of reality and those doctors who are ready to receive kickbacks from the drug companies to send those people on the train to addiction?

  • jimbrony

    $56 million. Let that sink in for a while. That’s $56 million of OUR taxes paid to the state – taken away from education, the elderly, infrastructure, etc. For what? Sad…

  • Ronald Price

    The problem with this war is you have let legitimate people with pain issues be casualties and they don’t even apologize for it. It’s sickening to say the least.

  • Mopar Driver (@RustyMopars)

    WHen the treatment is to keep them high it will always fail , The 9000 od ‘s that were stopped were more likely just delayed till the next time . The rehabs are total failures but the insiders are making money on the court ordered rehabs . Just a whole bunch of stupid going on , dopers will only get worse with the pot epidemic now starting courtesy of Obama .

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