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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: May 1, 2018 02:48 PM
From: Representative Aaron Bernstine
To: All House members
Subject: Access and Availability of Substance Abuse Treatment Legislation
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation in order to combat the opioid crisis, which is currently plaguing our Commonwealth.

The legislation would increase the access and availability of substance abuse treatment by eliminating the current disparity between urban and rural areas in access standards for substance abuse treatment services. Currently within Pennsylvania regulations, the access standard for out-patient services must be within 30 minutes of one-way travel time in urban areas, while it must be within 60 minutes one-way travel time in rural areas.

Statistics from around the country show that the farther a person needs to travel to obtain treatment, the less likely he or she is to maintain that treatment regimen. This proposed legislation would standardize the travel time standard to 30 minutes for out-patient treatment for both urban and rural areas, where treatment centers are available.

Additionally, this legislation would increase the minimum number of out-patient substance abuse treatment centers available to patients from the current two to three, again where such treatment centers are available.

It is clear that this statewide problem requires us to change our current approaches to treatment. In the midst of this epidemic, it is vital that access and availability of patients to substance abuse treatment centers be increased.

Please join me in supporting this important piece of legislation.

Introduced as HB2472