|Posted:||January 7, 2019 09:01 AM|
|From:||Representative Doyle Heffley|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Warm Hand- Off for overdose survivors|
|In the near future, I plan to re-introduce HB 2727 from last session, my bill creating a warm hand-off program for overdose survivors. Since last fall, there has been a great deal of positive feedback on the legislation and comments from stakeholders were used to improve this year’s bill. You may recall that it was inspired by the Blue Guardian Program in Lehigh County which has been managing the aftermath of an overdose by offering life-saving assistance to overdose survivors in the city of Allentown and surrounding areas. Their law enforcement, emergency medical services, and addiction treatment specialists have joined efforts to address the terrible toll that the addiction crisis is having in their community.
The Commonwealth began to combat the crisis by authorizing the use of naloxone for first responders to bring people back from the brink of death. The warm hand-off is the critical next step to restore these individuals to lasting health and safety. Many EMTs and police officers have told us that they are saving the same individuals repeatedly. While there have been statewide efforts to strengthen the warm hand-off of overdose survivors to treatment, my legislation will provide much stronger tools to ensure that we forge the next link in the continuum of care for people struggling with a life-threatening substance use disorder.
I plan to introduce legislation to emulate the Blue Guardian Program so that a truly effective warm hand-off to treatment can be implemented state-wide for overdose survivors. Please join me in co-sponsorship of this needed next step to address the scourge of addiction in Pennsylvania
Introduced as HB424