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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: May 25, 2023 08:52 AM
From: Senator Daniel Laughlin and Sen. Anthony H. Williams
To: All Senate members
Subject: Creating Pathways to Rehabilitate Individuals Suffering with Substance Use Disorder
In the near future, we intend to introduce legislation aimed at helping individuals regain control of their lives following a drug overdose in which a life sustaining medication was administered.
Substance use disorder (SUD) is a treatable mental health condition that affects a person’s brain and behavior, leading to their inability to control their use of substances like legal or illegal drugs, alcohol, or medications.
An individual suffering with substance use disorder is a harm to themselves and others. They lack decision making capability, inability to manage personal affairs and take care of basic needs. Left untreated, they resort to criminal behavior leading to jail or worse, death.
While the ability to administer a life sustaining medication has reduced the death rate, it is not treatment and does little to address the individuals underlying substance use disorder which left untreated will result in an individual receiving multiple doses over time.
Currently, 35 states and the District of Columbia have enacted involuntary commitment laws for those suffering with substance use disorder.
According to Pennsylvania Open Data, 77,714 doses of Naloxone were administered from January 1, 2018 to October 31, 2022 by EMS. 49,398 ER visits due to opioid overdose from January 1, 2018 to February 24, 2023.
It is time for Pennsylvania to make a stand and address the underlying mental health issue that is depriving our constituents of life and liberty. Treatment of the underlying substance use disorder will allow individuals to regain their hopes, dreams, goals, and most importantly, their LIVES.
Please join us in supporting this important piece of legislation. Recovery is the key to move forward but without treatment, there is no recovery.

Introduced as SB962