Opioid Crisis in Pennsylvania Now An Official Disaster
For the thousands and thousands of families all across Pennsylvania who have seen loved ones die from opioid-related overdoses, the disaster has already been a long and grim reality, but hopefully Governor Wolff’s first-ever public health Statewide Disaster Declaration will help stem the losses over the coming years.
“While we have made progress in combatting the heroin and opioid abuse crisis and drastically expanded Pennsylvania’s response, we are still losing far too many Pennsylvanians,” the Governor said in a statement. “I am taking this step to protect Pennsylvanians from this looming public health crisis, and I am using every tool at my disposal to get those suffering from substance use disorders into treatment, save more lives, and improve response coordination.”
Pennsylvania suffered more than 4,600 fatal drug overdoses in 2016, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The state’s rate of drug overdoses is more than twice the national average.
Among the declaration’s specifics are 13 key initiatives that are the culmination of a collaboration between all state agencies, with focus on the departments of Health, Drug and Alcohol Programs, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, and the Pennsylvania State Police, according to Wolf.
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To read more about how Pennsylvania is taking big steps to address the opioid disaster, please visit Lehigh Valley Live.