Pennsylvania’s war on opioid addiction to highlight national event
Pennsylvania’s approach to the opioid epidemic will be front and center Monday at the National Governor’s Association’s Summit for New Administrations in Washington, D.C.
Gov. Tom Wolf will address the gathering on Pennsylvania’s multi-faceted attack, which the American Medical Association has highlighted as a national model for battling the opioid epidemic.
Over the last four years Pennsylvania officials have taken a variety of steps aimed at reining in the epidemic. Among other initiatives, the Wolf Administration has: expanded Medicaid to include treatment for substance abuse disorder, established 45 Centers of Excellence for treatment, strengthened its prescription monitoring program, equipped first responders with Naloxone, established drug take back programs for unused prescription drugs and awarded $15 million in housing assistance to help those suffering from addiction scale barriers to treatment and recovery.
Those initiatives may be having an impact on the epidemic in Southwestern Pennsylvania. After two years of sharp increases, overdose deaths in Southwestern Pennsylvania by more than 40 percent in 2018.
The two-day National Governor’s Association Opioid Summit will bring together health and public safety leaders from 33 states and territories to discuss best practices.
Wolf said he hopes Pennsylvania’s model will prove helpful to others.
“While there is still a lot of work to do, Pennsylvania is beginning to see positive results of the efforts of state agencies and organizations working together on fighting the opioid crisis at every level,” Wolf said.
Deb Erdley is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Deb at 724-850-1209, [email protected] or via Twitter .