BLOG: Combating Pennsylvania’s Opioid Epidemic a Top Priority for Governor Wolf (Round-up)
By: Eryn Spangler, Press Assistant
May 03, 2016
Governor Tom Wolf has hosted a series of roundtables across the state to address and discuss the current opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania. The roundtables were attended by state legislators, local officials, healthcare professionals, and law enforcement who shared their experiences and recommendations on how best to combat the crisis. Governor Wolf has announced that fighting opioid abuse is a top priority for his administration. The Governor is proud of the work that has been done by his administration so far, but stresses that there more work to do and he is reaching out to legislators, law enforcement, stakeholders, advocates, and local officials to solicit the best ideas to fight this crisis.
“The magnitude of the addiction and overdose death epidemic in Pennsylvania is shocking: at least seven Pennsylvanians die every day from a drug overdose. With nearly 2,500 overdose deaths in Pennsylvania in 2014 and estimates that the 2015 total will be higher, a collaborative effort on the federal, state, and local levels is crucial in combating this crisis,” said the Governor.
“These local roundtables give us the opportunity to discuss real solutions that will help Pennsylvania tackle this problem and ultimately save lives. It is my goal to make Pennsylvania an example for the rest of the nation for our work in this epidemic.”
The Governor hopes that the bi-partisan effort of these roundtables is the beginning of a larger conversation regarding opioid abuse in Pennsylvania and will encourage state lawmakers and community leaders to work toward finding solution to ending this epidemic.
Take a look at the additional coverage below:
The Bradford Era: Wolf administration says heroin epidemic ‘a top priority’
“Governor Wolf’s proposed 2016-17 budget provides more than $34 million to treat more than 11,250 new individuals with substance use disorder,” reads a release from Wolf’s office. “The Department of Human Services will provide 50 new Centers for Excellence for individuals with substance use disorder, providing medication-assisted treatment and appropriate wrap-around services, such as cognitive based therapies.”
PA Homepage: Fighting Opioid Abuse
[Early] education is on the mind of Governor Tom Wolf who met with some of those educators and law enforcement officials in Williamsport. Wolf wants kids to be talking about opioid abuse and heroin. Governor Wolf said, “Children are very potent disseminators of information and I think that suggestion the Superintendent made is a good one”.
Daily Item: Doctor: Too few providers for expanded drug treatment
The governor intends to use the $34 million to establish 50 Centers of Excellence to treat Medicaid recipients with opioid addictions — an estimated 11,250 additional addicted Pennsylvanians and 22,500 total…Wolf acknowledged the lack of available providers will be a challenge. “That’s a big debate within our administration,” Wolf said after the event. However, the governor stressed the proposal is but one method and that the state won’t be singular in its approach.
Sun Gazette: Joining Forces
“This is something that people take seriously, and it’s not a money thing,” [Governor Wolf] said. “No one wants to look at this problem and say it’s going to grow because we aren’t devoting adequate resources to it.” Wolf and state Sen. Gene Yaw, R-Loyalsock Township, agreed the opioid issue is a nonpartisan problem, and legislators, citizens and community leaders are all “concerned about what is happening throughout Pennsylvania,” Wolf said.
Central Penn Business Journal: State roundtable highlights opioid epidemic
Earlier this week Gov. Tom Wolf and state Senator Gene Yaw hosted a roundtable in Williamsport to discuss the state’s opioid epidemic. The goal of the discussion was to combat opioid abuse and heroin use epidemic. The governor is conducting roundtables statewide
ABC 27: Gov. Wolf talks about state’s opioid, heroin crisis
Wolf said taking care of the problem could save the state money. He said he has already taken steps that include proposing more money to fight the crisis in the next budget. “If we actually come up with a good effective answer, we’re going to save money,” Wolf told ABC27 News. “Think about how many dollars we’re going to save if we get back to $400 million rather than $2 billion in incarceration costs.”
FOX 43: The cost of heroin addiction hits everyone in Pennsylvania
Governor Wolf said the cost of heroin addiction to the community is not the only concern. “I think the ratios are pretty big, and so there might be some specific costs to programs that we want to put into place, but if we want to do it right, we’re going to be saving money and we’re saving lives,” Wolf said.
WITF: Leaders plead for more treatment beds to help people addicted to opioids
Leaders at a roundtable with Governor Tom Wolf delivered a clear and consistent message: treatment programs aren’t keeping up with demand. On a day when President Barack Obama welcomed 10 “Champions of Change” to the White House in praise of their efforts to fight the opioid crisis, Governor Tom Wolf and others gathered for the roundtable in Lancaster.
Lancaster Online: Pa. Gov. Wolf in Lancaster for Opioid Roundtable
The governor said the epidemic was one of the first — and biggest — problems he faced when he took office in January 2015. More people died of opioid overdoses in the United States last year than in car accidents; in Lancaster County, 80 people died of overdoses in 2015, and 52 died in car crashes. “What can we do?” Wolf asked a panel of more than 20 addiction counselors, service providers and elected officials Friday morning.
Times Herald: Pa. Gov. Wolf visits Coatesville to discuss opioid crisis
“We have an epidemic that is not focused in certain areas, it’s all over the state,” Wolf said. “Everyone is facing it.” According to statistics, nearly 2,500 people died of overdoses in Pennsylvania in 2014, Wolf noted, more than those killed in car accidents. “It destroys lives,” Wolf said. “It destroys the families.”
WGAL: Wolf weighs in on PA heroin epidemic (video)
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