|February 1, 2017 11:55 AM
|Senator Judith L. Schwank
|All Senate members
|Emergency addiction treatment
| In the near future, I will be re-introducing SB 1210 from the 2015-2016 session to help address the opioid and overdose epidemic in Pennsylvania.
On average, more than nine drug overdose deaths occurred every day here during 2015. Nearly 3,400 drug-related deaths were recorded here that year, and 2016 numbers appear likely to be even worse. In my home county, Berks, drug deaths more than doubled from 2015 to 2016, shooting to 57 last year from 27 in 2015. This all underscores a University of Pittsburgh report that fatal drug overdoses in Pennsylvania had already increased 1400 percent from 1979 to 2014. Every corner of our state has been affected.
My proposal will create an Emergency Addiction Treatment Program under the
Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs to expand treatment space at existing long-term residential addiction treatment facilities and licensed halfway homes, and brand-new facilities. The program will also provide for new intake methods to help get information to the addicted, their families and friends, including advice and assistance in accessing treatment, and to collect data to identify patterns of addiction. Previous sponsors included Senators Costa, Fontana, Brewster, Sabatina, Farnese, Blake Dinniman, Yudichak, Browne and Hughes.
I hope you will join me in co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation.
Introduced as SB533