Senator Daylin Leach Holds a Opioid Crisis Forum

On Wednesday, October 25, 2017, State Senator Daylin Leach joined about 30 local residents, community leaders, and experts in substance abuse treatment for his Opioid Crisis Forum at the Upper Merion Township Building in Montgomery County.

Drug addiction is a public health problem and a medical problem, not a criminal justice problem, and it touches all of us,” Leach said. “In our daily lives and in our public policy we should focus on curing the underlying causes of drug addiction instead of treating people who suffer from addiction like criminals.”

Governor Wolf Announces $5 Million Funding for Naloxone to First Responders

Harrisburg, Pa. – Governor Wolf today announced that the $5 million included in the 2017-18 budget to provide naloxone to first responders in Pennsylvania is now available. Details of the application process and benefits of naloxone will be provided at a press conference at 2 p.m. today in the Capitol Reception Room with representatives of the departments of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP), Health (DOH), and the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD).

Costa Takes Steps to hold Pharmaceutical Industry Accountable for Opioid Crisis

Harrisburg – June 15, 2017 – State Senator Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) today signaled his intent to introduce a resolution urging Governor Tom Wolf and Attorney General Josh Shapiro to file suit against the pharmaceutical industry for deceptive and unfair marketing practices.

Costa’s resolution requests that any funds recovered from the lawsuits be placed in a reserve account to be used for drug, alcohol and mental health treatment.

Costa Introduces Legislation to Support Families Affected by Opioid Epidemic

Harrisburg – February 16, 2017 – Committed to the fight against opioid addiction, State Sen. Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) today introduced legislation that would provide support to families seeking emergency treatment for loved ones.

“Families are suffering – it’s as simple as that,” Costa said. “They desperately are seeking emergency treatment options for their loved ones but without their consent, have no opportunity to provide the help they need.”

OVERDOSED: HOW DOCTORS WROTE THE SCRIPT FOR AN EPIDEMIC

Special Report | May 22, 2016
Reporting by Rich Lord, J. Brady McCollough and Adam Smeltz

Dr. Gary A. Shearer continued to prescribe painkillers, even as 14 of his patients died of drug overdoses, according to Kentucky investigators.

Maryland psychiatrist Patricia A. Newton kept prescribing to a struggling addict, according to a judge’s account in a dispute over her license, until that patient turned up, unconscious, in a Maryland hospital bathroom with a syringe and 545 pills.

GET HELP NOW - 1-800-662-4357 (HELP)

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.

Latest News

‘Just say no’ doesn’t work in opioid crisis: Pa. mom’s advice after daughter dies of heroin overdose

PENN LIVE | BY THE KIMBERLY FINNIGAN | 11.3.17

CLEARFIELD – No mother should have to write an obituary for her daughter. But when Michelle Schwartzmier put pen to paper to memorialize her daughter Casey one last time, she had no idea she was about to change lives within a schism of society most people would rather forget about.

Senator Daylin Leach Holds a Opioid Crisis Forum

On Wednesday, October 25, 2017, State Senator Daylin Leach joined about 30 local residents, community leaders, and experts in substance abuse treatment for his Opioid Crisis Forum at the Upper Merion Township Building in Montgomery...

Wisconsin Senate passes ban on deadly synthetic versions of fentanyl

JOURNAL SENTINEL | BY THE JASON STEIN | 10.31.17

ADISON – Wisconsin would close loopholes that allow drug dealers to sell versions of the fearsomely powerful drug fentanyl,under a bill passed by the state Senate Tuesday.

Prescription Bill Slows Opioid Flow

THE TIMES-TRIBUNE | BY THE EDITORIAL BOARD | 10.21.17

The state Senate unanimously has passed a bill that would help to heal some of the damage caused by Rep. Tom Marino’s bill diminishing the ability of the Drug Enforcement Administration to reduce the flow of powerful prescription opioid painkillers onto the black market.

Governor Wolf Announces $5 Million Funding for Naloxone to First Responders

Harrisburg, Pa. – Governor Wolf today announced that the $5 million included in the 2017-18 budget to provide naloxone to first responders in Pennsylvania is now available. Details of the application process and benefits of naloxone will be provided at a press...

If addiction is a disease, should relapse mean jail time?

WASHINGTON POST | BY ALANNA DURKIN RICHER | 10.2.17

Schuylkill to expand drug treatment court

STANDARD-SPEAKER | BY MARK GILGER JR | 9.28.17

POTTSVILLE — Schuylkill County is set to receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal funding to expand its drug treatment court.

22 Young Victims Of Addiction, And The Honest Obituaries That Tell Of Their Deaths

NEWTOWN PATCH | BY KARA SEYMOUR | 9.27.17

These 22 young Pennsylvania residents recently lost their lives to addiction. And their loved ones aren’t afraid to say it.

If you’ve looked through the obituary pages recently, you’ve likely noticed a troubling trend: there are many young faces.

Advisers: Trump Won’t Declare Opioid Crisis a National Emergency

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | BY AUBREY WHELAN AND DON SAPATKIN | 8.9.17

President Donald Trump’s advisers said Tuesday that he would not declare a national emergency over the opioid crisis, despite an “urgent” recommendation from the commission he appointed to study the epidemic.

Focus on Women as Opioid-Related Hospital Stays, ER Visits Surge

TODAY | BY A. PAWLOWSKI | 6.20.17

There’s a startling new snapshot of the nation’s opioid epidemic. In just a decade, the rate of people hospitalized because of pain relievers and heroin rose 64 percent, while the rate of opioid-related emergency room visits almost doubled, according to a report released Tuesday.

%

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.

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