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Senator Costa Update on the Opioid and Heroin Crisis
Joint Policy Hearing – Pennsylvania’s Drug Epidemic
Gainey: Do Your Part to Fight Prescription Drug Abuse
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.
Committee Approves Boscola’s Infant Opioid Addiction Reporting Bill
Smallest state has biggest opioid plan
THE TIMES-TRIBUNE | By the Editorial Board | AUGUST 29, 2018
The opioid addiction epidemic continues to wreak havoc in unexpected ways, beyond the death toll of 72,000 in 2017.
In West Virginia, for example, public health authorities blame addiction for more than 1,000 new cases of acute hepatitis-A viral infections since March; the disease had been diminished by 95 percent nationally since the creation of a vaccine in 1996.
Opioid Awareness Day brings large crowd to Kirby Park
THE CITIZEN’S VOICE | BY ERIC MARK | AUGUST 27, 2018
WILKES-BARRE — Opioid Awareness Day in Kirby Park on Sunday featured a message of hope mixed with warning about the dangers of the opioid epidemic that continues to plague the region and the nation.
Herbal ‘opioid’ Kratom kills 2 in Pa.
PENN LIVE | BY JOHN LUCIEW | AUGUST 24, 2018
Police in Chester County, Pa., are sounding the alarm after two men died taking the legal supplement Kratom, known as the herbal opioid.
NBC-10 in Philly reports the two victims of the accidental kratom overdoses as Caleb Jonathan Sturgis of West Bradford Township and Ryan Jones of Caln Township.
Opioid epidemic continues to drive record overdoses statewide
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE | BY RICH LORD | AUGUST 22, 2018
Pennsylvania last year continued to break records for fatal overdoses, with drug deaths reaching a level that almost doubled the 2014 figure, due largely to fentanyl and heroin, according to data released by the Drug Enforcement Administration late Tuesday.
STOP Act will prevent opioid smuggling
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE | BY PAUL STEIDLER | AUGUST 21, 2018
One answer to your Aug. 16 editorial “Where Is The help? Opioids Have Taken A Huge Toll On Pennsylvania” is for Washington to enact commonsense legislation that will reduce the inflow of opioids from China.
Epidemic has life of its own
CITIZENS’ VOICE | THE EDITORIAL BOARD | AUGUST 21, 2018
Startling new statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention demonstrate that the opioid addiction epidemic will be even harder to stop than experts originally predicted. Due to the nature of addiction and market forces, the epidemic has assumed a life of its own.
Overdoses continue to soar, but central Pa. coroner believes progress finally showing
PENNLIVE | BY DAVID WENNER | AUGUST 18, 2018
In York County, the fatal overdose trend is still going in the wrong direction, with coroner Pam Gay counting about 25 more deaths than at this time last year.
Epidemic haslife of its own
Vivitrol program meets goals after one year
OBSERVER-REPORTER | BY KATIE ANDERSON | AUGUST 17, 2018
One year after the Vivitrol Plus program began at the Washington County jail, 54 people have participated and not one of them has died from an overdose, according to Erich Curnow, director of clinical and case management services with the county’s Drug and Alcohol Commission.
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
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.