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The PA Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs has established a hotline for individuals and/or their loved ones who are seeking drug and alcohol treatment services. If you need assistance in finding a treatment provider or funding for addiction treatment, please call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or contact your local county drug and alcohol office.
Pa. state Rep. Edward Gainey joined other members of the PA-HOPE Caucus to talk about designating October 19th as “Lock ‘Em Up” Day in Pennsylvania.
THE READING EAGLE | BY FORD TURNER | 04.25.2018
The drug overdose crisis in the seven-county region centered on Berks took 938 lives in 2017, an increase of about 11 percent from the previous year that was fueled by abuse of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid once used primarily to treat chronic or cancer-related pain.
STANDARD SPEAKER | 04.12.2018
BALTIMORE (AP) — On a Baltimore street corner, public health workers hand out a life-saving overdose antidote to residents painfully familiar with the ravages of America’s opioid epidemic. But the training wraps up quickly; all the naloxone inhalers are claimed within 20 minutes.
THE INQUIRER | 04.12.2018
A 46-year-old Burlington County pharmacist was sentenced Thursday to 15 years in federal prison for illegally distributing oxycodone for five years from two pharmacies he owned in Medford, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said.
THE TRIBUNE-DEMOCRAT | 04.06.2018
A Pennsylvania Senate Bill proposes creating state-sanctioned prescription guidelines for workers injured on the job, a move its supporters say will cut down on the amount of opioids prescribed to them.
THE PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE | 04.5.2018
A new report shows large employers spent $2.6 billion to treat opioid addiction and overdoses in 2016, an eight-fold increase since 2004. More than half went to treat employees’ children.
The analysis released Thursday by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation finds such spending cost companies and workers about $26 per enrollee in 2016.
THE CITIZENS’ VOICE | 04.03.2018
Prescription opioid drugs don’t come with a warning label.
They also don’t include a list of local resources if patients find themselves hooked on the highly addictive medicine or worse, face a fatal overdose.
14.1% OF STUDENTS BELIEVED THERE WAS LITTLE-TO-NO RISK IN USING PRESCRIPTION DRUGS NOT PRESCRIBED TO THEM
24.3% OF STUDENTS SAID IT WOULD BE "SORT OF EASY" OR VERY EASY" TO GET PRESCRIPTION DRUGS
AN ESTIMATED 70% - 80% OF PENNSYLVANIA'S CRIMINAL OFFENDERS HAVE SUBSTANCE ABUSE PROBLEMS
ABOUT 80% OF INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE PROGRESSED TO HEROIN ORIGINALLY USED PRESCRIPTION PAIN MEDICATIONS
THE SCOPE OF THE CRISIS
In 2014, according to the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), approximately 2,500 Pennsylvanians died from overdose of opioid drugs. The victims came from every corner of the state. According to the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4), opioid overuse and abuse cost the Commonwealth more than $12.2 million in hospitalization costs annually as of 2012.
There is broad consensus the opioid issue affects all groups of Pennsylvanians – not differentiating by race, region, religion, income or any other factor. Beyond the public health toll, opioids are straining prisons (70 to 80 percent of all jail sentences) and are costly (nationwide, more than $50 billion annually in treatment and lost productivity).
WHAT ARE OPIOIDS?
Opioids are a class of drugs derived from or pharmacologically similar to opiates. While these analgesics are the most effective pharmaceuticals for killing pain, they carry with them a significant risk of addiction. Some data suggest that 60 percent of prescription opioid deaths occur in patients with no history of substance abuse and who are only prescribed an opioid by one health care practitioner.
WHAT IS HEROIN?
Heroin is an opioid pain killer. It is also used less commonly as a cough suppressant and as an antidiarrhoeal. Heroin is used as a recreational drug for its euphoric effects. Frequent and regular administration is associated with tolerance and physical dependence. In some countries it is also given to long-term users as a form of opioid replacement therapy alongside counseling.