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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: November 20, 2015 02:36 PM
From: Senator Judith L. Schwank
To: All Senate members
Subject: Addiction Treatment Study
I will shortly offer a resolution to establish an advisory task force within the Joint State Government Commission on issues relating to drug-addiction treatment and requiring a study and report by the Commission on them.

Pennsylvania faces enormous challenges to the well-being of its families and communities from illegal drug use, with thousands of lives directly lost every year, and tens of thousands hurt by it. Our neighborhoods, schools and businesses are disrupted and damaged, but the problem persists in spite of every effort to address it, in large part, I believe, because of addiction-driven demand for drugs. All of us have certainly heard the frustration and fear in the stories of addiction survivors and their families about the difficulties in arranging and paying for treatment and the repetitious cycle of treatment and relapse.

The task force and commission would be charged to review and make recommendations with regard to access to effective treatment here, including conducting an inventory of locations and types of treatment programs; an assessment of the need for additional treatment resources; the ease and availability of access by Pennsylvania residents to effective treatment; the prevalence and practical impact of using private or public funding or health insurance coverage to pay for treatment; the identification and effectiveness of particular forms of treatment; how to assist consumers in determining the effectiveness and value of different types of treatment and programs; how to nurture promising emerging types of treatment and best practices here; and other relevant issues the Commission and Task Force identify as helpful to improving the effectiveness and availability of treatment.

The advisory task force would include representatives of the Department of Corrections, Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, Department of Education, Department of Health, Department of Human Services, Department of Insurance, Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, hospitals, treatment providers, medical professionals, recovering former users, family members of users, Single County Authorities, and other appropriate groups or organizations identified by the Commission, with the report due in 18 months.

Introduced as SR267