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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: April 9, 2021 10:26 AM
From: Representative Michael H. Schlossberg
To: All House members
Subject: Authorizing Localized Overdose Fatality Review Teams
As the overdose crisis continues unabated, overdose fatality review boards present a promising path to reducing drug-related deaths within our communities by examining and understanding the circumstances surrounding a fatal overdose. Specifically, these multidisciplinary teams aim to prevent future overdose deaths by identifying patterns, improving data accuracy, enhancing local service coordination, and providing recommendations to inform policies and programs. Legislation introduced in states including Washington, New Jersey, and New York would authorize the creation of localized overdose fatality review teams in recognition that these teams often yield faster recommendations than state or national agencies, allowing local authorities to quickly respond to emerging overdose trends.

In recognition of their value, I will be introducing legislation to allow local communities and agencies across Pennsylvania to establish overdose fatality review teams. Similar to Pennsylvania’s Methadone Death and Incident Review Team, localized overdose fatality review teams will bring together representatives from various public safety, public health, and social service agencies to identify system gaps and opportunities in order to prevent future overdose deaths.

The overdose crisis is not stagnant, instead it is rapidly shifting; as such, the need for timely, in-depth data and actionable recommendations has become increasingly vital. Please join me in supporting this legislation to strengthen our community's ability to respond to and stem the overdose crisis.

Introduced as HB1308