PRINTER'S NO. 1163

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA


SENATE RESOLUTION

No. 135 Session of 2007


        INTRODUCED BY GREENLEAF, PILEGGI, ARMSTRONG, ORIE, ROBBINS,
           FONTANA, BOSCOLA, FERLO, RAFFERTY, ERICKSON, D. WHITE, FUMO,
           WONDERLING AND STACK, JUNE 11, 2007

        REFERRED TO JUDICIARY, JUNE 11, 2007

                                  A RESOLUTION

     1  Directing the Joint State Government Commission to establish a
     2     task force and advisory committee to study the distribution
     3     and use of methadone, including the diversion of methadone
     4     from its proper and legal uses, and to make a report to the
     5     Senate on the distribution and use of methadone, including
     6     recommendations for changes in State law and regulations.

     7     WHEREAS, Methadone is used to detoxify opiate addicts,
     8  including individuals addicted to heroin, because it suppresses
     9  withdrawal symptoms and reduces cravings by blocking the high
    10  associated with heroin; and
    11     WHEREAS, The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that
    12  among outpatients receiving methadone, weekly heroin use
    13  decreased by 69%, criminal activity decreased by 52% and full-
    14  time employment increased by 24%; and
    15     WHEREAS, While the advantages of methadone treatment are well
    16  documented, the diversion of methadone from its proper and legal
    17  uses is a serious problem because this powerful drug can become
    18  available for sale on the street; and
    19     WHEREAS, Methadone abuse is dangerous because the drug stays


     1  in an individual's system for longer than many other narcotics,
     2  often more than two days; and
     3     WHEREAS, The Food and Drug Administration has warned
     4  physicians about the risk of accidental overdoses or dangerous
     5  interactions with other drugs if patients get too much methadone
     6  too often; and
     7     WHEREAS, According to the National Center for Health
     8  Statistics, methadone was mentioned in 3,849 of the 30,308 drug
     9  poisoning deaths reported for 2004, a 29% increase from the
    10  previous year; therefore be it
    11     RESOLVED, That the Senate direct the Joint State Government
    12  Commission to establish a bipartisan task force consisting of
    13  two members appointed by the President pro tempore of the Senate
    14  and two members appointed by the Minority Leader of the Senate;
    15  and be it further
    16     RESOLVED, That the task force create an advisory committee of
    17  individuals with expertise in the distribution and use of
    18  methadone, including representatives of the medical, drug
    19  treatment and criminal justice communities; and be it further
    20     RESOLVED, That the task force and advisory committee study
    21  the distribution and use of methadone, including the diversion
    22  of methadone from its proper and legal uses, and make a report
    23  to the Senate on the distribution and use of methadone,
    24  including recommendations for changes in State law and
    25  regulations.




    E16L82DMS/20070S0135R1163        - 2 -
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