HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Senate today unanimously approved Sen. Judy Schwank’s resolution for an advisory task force to find better ways to address drug addiction and treatment.

“I believe the task force will find that Pennsylvania needs better coordination and, perhaps, a stronger commitment to drug addiction prevention, care and intervention, especially as heroin and opioid overdoses have racked so many of our communities,” Schwank said.

“We suspect more can and should be done because we read about Pennsylvanians dying from drug overdoses too many times on too many days. I’ve listened during public forums and impromptu meetings with constituents who say treatment programs should have the resources to provide more beds for care or they should be able to act quicker and with more focus.

“I look forward to the advisory panel’s work and final report to help stop this growing problem, and I thank the Senate for its understanding and support to make this happen. Treatment works.”

The special panel proposed in Schwank’s Senate Resolution 267 would complete an inventory of the locations and types of drug treatment programs and determine if there is a need for additional help or better coordination.

It would also determine the ease and availability of access by Pennsylvania residents to effective treatment; examine the prevalence and practical impact of using private or public funding or health insurance coverage to pay for treatment; decide how to better help consumers determine the effectiveness and value of different types of treatment and programs, and propose how to nurture promising emerging types of treatment and best practices.

The task force will work under the supervision of the Joint State Government Commission – a bipartisan, bicameral research agency – and have 18 months to deliver its report and recommendations.


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Contact: Mark Shade

Phone:   (717) 787-5166