|Posted:||May 20, 2016 01:25 PM|
|From:||Senator Judith L. Schwank|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Emergency Addiction treatment|
|In the near future I will be introducing legislation that is part of a package of bills that the Senate Democrats are introducing to address the opioid epidemic confronting Pennsylvania.
The extent of the addiction and overdose death epidemic in Pennsylvania is appalling, causing at least seven victims to die every day from drug overdoses. There were over 2,500 overdose deaths in Pennsylvania in 2014 and estimates that the 2015 total will be higher action is required.
A University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health study showed that fatal drug overdoses in Pennsylvania increased 14-fold between 1979 and 2014.
Additionally, the highest rates of drug overdose deaths were found in counties in southwestern Pennsylvania, those surrounding Philadelphia and in the northeast near Scranton.
Some estimates are that 80% of current heroin users switched to heroin when prescription opioids became too expensive or too difficult to procure.
As part of the package of bills we will be introducing an Emergency Addiction Treatment Program.
The State’s Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs will be charged with establishing the Emergency Addiction Treatment Program that will offer new addiction treatment facilities for those drug users that are currently going without care. The facilities will either be existing long-term residential addiction treatment facilities, licensed halfway homes, or new facilities.
The program will also include new intake methods to provide information to those with addiction problems or their family and friends, advice and assistance in accessing treatment, and data collection to help identify patterns of addiction.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation.
Introduced as SB1210