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Human Services Spotlights

Posted on: December 5, 2018

Stop Overdoses in PA Week

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Stop Overdoses in PA: Get Help Now Week 

December 10 to 14, 2018


Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf recently launched Stop Overdoses in PA: Get Help Now Week, December 10-14a statewide initiative to give the overdose-reversal medication naloxone to Pennsylvanians for free and get help for residents suffering from the disease of opioid-use disorder.

“Last year, more than 5,000 Pennsylvanians died from an opioid overdose, and we all have to work together to stop this trend,” Governor Wolf said. “My administration is making the overdose-reversal medication naloxone available for free on December 13 to any Pennsylvanian who wants it at 71 locations throughout the state. While naloxone will stop the overdose, it’s important to also call 911 for additional life-saving help and to get the patient to a hospital.”

During Stop Overdoses in PA: Get Help Now Week, residents will be able to go to a state health center, and some local health departments, on December 13 to get the overdose reversal medication naloxone. This medication reverses the effects of an opioid overdose and gives the patient a chance at recovery.

We cannot get someone into treatment if they are dead,” Pennsylvania Department of Health Secretary Dr. Levine said. “Naloxone is a medication that can give someone suffering from the disease of opioid-use disorder a chance at recovery. We will have nurses and medical personnel at state health centers to distribute naloxone to anyone who wants it on December 13, as well as information on how to administer it and get help.”

Naloxone also is available at pharmacies statewide every day without a prescription thanks to a standing order prescription signed by Dr. Rachel Levine. It is covered by most insurances at little to no copay.

In addition, multiple state agencies are hosting events and releasing information important to helping stop overdoses in Pennsylvania during this week. “Treatment works and recovery is possible,” Drug and Alcohol Programs Secretary Jennifer Smith said. “If you, or someone in your life, are suffering from the disease of opioid-use disorder there is help. Whether you have insurance, are uninsured, or underinsured individuals can call the Pennsylvania Get Help Now Hotline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) to enter treatment or talk to someone about available resources in their community.”

Since Governor Wolf first signed a heroin and opioid disaster declaration in January, 16 state agencies have continuously worked to fight the opioid epidemic and have made significant progress to help individuals and families dealing with this crisis. Some accomplishments include waiving birth certificate fees for individuals seeking treatment, using federal Medicaid funding in treatment facilities to provide more than 12,000 individuals access to medically necessary treatment, and providing career services to people who have been impacted by the opioid epidemic and plan to return to work.

For more information on Pennsylvania’s response to the opioid crisis visit Opioid Crisis


KEY INFORMATION

  • The Wolf Administration continues to take aggressive steps to address the heroin and opioid epidemic. 
  • The administration is using an all-hands-on-deck approach to this crisis, with 16 state agencies and commissions working together under the opioid command center.
  • In Pennsylvania, through the opioid command center we are focused on gathering data and other information about how we can further help our counties and local communities in response to this crisis.
  • CDC provisional data shows that overdoses in Pennsylvania have declined by 2.8 percent from March 2017 to March 2018 - Drug Overdose Data
  • While these numbers are encouraging, we know that there is still a lot of work to be done.
  • Addressing the opioid crisis is a marathon, not a sprint.
  • It is essential that those who have the disease of opioid use disorder get into treatment.
  • Treatment works and recovery is possible for those who are affected by opioids.
  • Since 2016, Pennsylvania has received a total of $108 million in federal funding to fight the opioid epidemic.
  • Most recently, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) awarded Pennsylvania $55.9 million. Together, the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs and multiple state agencies have planned initiatives focused on prevention, treatment, recovery, education, and training, which are broken into three overarching “buckets.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Individuals seeking recovery resources for themselves or a loved one can call the toll-free PA Get Help Now helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). A live chat option is also available online or via text message at 717-216-0905 for those seeking help who may not be comfortable speaking to a helpline operator.




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