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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: December 9, 2014 09:23 AM
From: Senator Joseph B. Scarnati, III
To: All Senate members
Subject: Medicated Asssisted Treatment

In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that will address the ongoing substance abuse problem in our communities across the Commonwealth by better utilizing FDA-approved medications for the prevention of relapse to opioid dependence.

Pennsylvania state prisons and county jails are filled with people that suffer from a substance use disorder. Currently, Pennsylvania ranks third in the nation behind California and Illinois for heroin use, the most commonly cited drug among drug treatment admissions in Pennsylvania. In 2007, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 1,812 persons died in Pennsylvania as a direct consequence of drug use with an estimated mortality rate of 5 people per day.

Unfortunately, this epidemic is becoming more widespread in all parts of the Commonwealth, particularly in rural counties such as those that I represent. However, there have been developments in the area of medicated assisted treatment, specifically with regard to non-narcotic, non-addictive medications, that I believe can be of great help in combating this problem.

My legislation will require that both providers and law enforcement officials receive training and education on non-narcotic, non-addictive FDA approved medications for the treatment of opioid dependence, ensure access to these medications and require a multiple county jail re-entry project utilizing effective comprehensive treatment, case management and non-narcotic medication.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as SB524