Harrisburg, Pa. – Governor Wolf today announced that his administration is expanding its effort to provide Pennsylvanians with another successful means to combat the heroin and opioid epidemic by expanding the availability of drug take-back boxes.
At a press event at 10 a.m. today at Pennsylvania State Police Troop H headquarters on Bretz Road in Harrisburg, Commissioner Tyree Blocker and Acting Secretary for the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Jennifer Smith will help to unveil one of 65 prescription drug take-back boxes now available at State Police barracks across the state.
“It’s imperative that we do all that we can to help staunch the flow of devastation the heroin and opioid epidemic is having on our state,” Governor Wolf said. “By providing convenient, easily accessed drug take-back boxes, we hope to continue to significantly reduce the number of prescriptions drugs being used for purposes other than those intended. I thank CVS/Pharmacy for its generous donation of these newest take-back boxes.”
There are now more than 700 drug take-back boxes in the state, with more than 300,000 pounds of drugs destroyed. This initiative is just one of many Governor Wolf has implemented in the past two years. Others include:
- Implemented more than 45 treatment centers that will treat more than 11,000 individuals with substance use disorder.
- Expanded Medicaid to more Pennsylvanians, which now covers substance use disorder care for over 125,000 Pennsylvanians.
- Secured a $26.5 million federal grant to support prevention, treatment, and recovery services to battle the opioid epidemic.
- Equipped law enforcement, first responders, and schools with the overdose-reversing antidote naloxone, reversing nearly 4,000 heroin and opioid overdoses since 2014.
- Issued a standing order — a prescription written for the general public, rather than specifically for an individual — for overdose-reversing antidote naloxone.
- Strengthened the use of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), which enables health care providers to safely prescribe controlled substances to their patients. 90,000 physicians have conducted more than 1 million searches since the program became operational in 2016.
- Announced improved prescribing guidelines for the safe and effective use of opioids, including in sports medicine, for minors, and Pennsylvanians on Medicaid, as well as improved education for medical professionals on opioid prescribing.
- Launched a 24/7 helpline, 1-800-662-HELP, for those who need immediate assistance with drug and alcohol problems. More than 15,000 Pennsylvanians have contacted the statewide helpline for assistance.