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PA Governor Tom Wolf Declares a Health Disaster Emergency to Help Deal with the Opioid Crisis

PA Governor Tom Wolf Declares a Health Disaster Emergency to Help Deal with the Opioid Crisis | Newtown News of Interest | Scoop.it

Pennsylvania's governor declared the state's opioid addiction epidemic a public health emergency Wednesday and ordered a command center set up to treat the crisis like it would a natural disaster. 


Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf signed an order for the 90-day disaster declaration, widening access to the state's prescription drug monitoring program and making it easier for medical professionals to get people into drug treatment more quickly.


"We're still losing too many Pennsylvanians, and as long as that's happening, I'm going to continue to look for ways to address this epidemic," Wolf said in the Capitol.


Wolf described the impact on individuals and families in the state, which experienced more than 4,600 fatal overdoses in 2016, an increase of more than one-third from the prior year. The state's rate of drug overdoses has been more than twice the national average, and preliminary data indicates the number of overdose deaths rose again last year.


Further Reading:

"Pennsylvania Underestimates Death Due to Opioids by More Than Half!"; http://sco.lt/8JwGcj ;

johnmacknewtown's insight:
An important barrier to formulating effective policies to address the rapid rise in U.S. fatal overdoses is that the specific drugs involved are frequently not identified on death certificates. Pennsylvania underestimates death due to opioids by more than half! That’s the worst record of any state. It’s a disgrace that Chuck Kiessling - the president of the Pennsylvania Coroners Association - can’t tell us how many opioid overdose deaths the 67 members of his association handled last year. According to Mr. Kiessling, that data "isn’t going to impact the living." I’m here to say that those deaths matter and do have an impact on the living, especially the families of the victims.
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Newtown News of Interest
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