BLOG: Governor Wolf’s Opioid Roundtable Discussions Encourage Bi-partisan Collaboration (Round-up)

By: Eryn Spangler, Press Assistant

May 11, 2016

This week, Governor Wolf is continuing his statewide opioid roundtable tour with events in York, Hazleton, and Stroudsburg. The roundtables attended by state lawmakers, local officials, healthcare professionals, and law enforcement have been successful in creating a platform for the attendees to discuss the best solutions to stopping the spread of the current opioid abuse epidemic plaguing Pennsylvania.

“Fighting Pennsylvania’s opioid and heroin epidemic is a top priority for my administration,” said Governor Wolf. “These roundtables are an opportunity to work collaboratively with the General Assembly and community leaders to ensure Pennsylvania leads the nation in the fight to combat the opioid abuse and heroin use crisis.”

Governor Wolf and his administration hope that these roundtables are the beginning of a larger bi-partisan conversation on how to fight the health crisis at both the state and local level. Many attendees, Democrat and Republican alike, have worked with and thanked Governor Wolf for bringing statewide attention to the epidemic.

Take a look at the quotes below:

Majority Leader Reed: “Lives are being lost to drug addiction, and not just in inner cities, but our Indiana County communities, too. It’s going to take all of us working together—law enforcement, lawmakers, and community members alike—to find a solution. It’s good that the governor has recognized the gravity of the issue and is willing to work with us as colleagues to help confront this challenge head on.”

Senator White: “I genuinely appreciate Governor Wolf spending time in my district to discuss a grave matter that knows no political, economic or social bounds. Drugs are ravaging communities across the country and our region is not immune. We must take immediate steps to provide the education and rehabilitation services necessary in the community to combat this scourge.”

Representative Topper: “One of the ways that we can continue to fight this epidemic is to strengthen our families and our communities. We need to be vigilant in determining the root causes for drug addiction. This truly is a bipartisan effort and I thank the Governor for his interest and leadership on this issue.”

Representative Sturla: “The heroin and opioid drug crisis in Pennsylvania is not going to simply fade away. We need to work together, like the Lancaster County Anti-Heroin Task Force is doing, to address this problem countywide and statewide. I appreciate Governor Wolf coming here to learn how this crisis is affecting our county and what we are trying to do about it.”

Senator Dinniman: “Opioid and heroin addiction is a health crisis that is robbing our Commonwealth and our nation of its most valuable resource – our young people. We simply cannot afford to let drugs gain a foothold in our communities and a get a grip on our young people. I want to thank the governor for his leadership on this issue and for coming to Coatesville to talk with community members about the heroin and opioid crisis facing our region.”

Senator Yaw: “We appreciate the opportunity to sit down with Governor Wolf today in order to increase public awareness of the heroin and opioid crisis facing our rural counties. However, this is not just a rural issue. It’s a statewide issue. Fortunately, we have a coalition in Lycoming County called Project Bald Eagle that is working to stem the tide of heroin and opioid abuse through education, prevention, treatment, enforcement and data monitoring. Undoubtedly, it will take a statewide-wide effort to combat this issue and we thank the Governor for his involvement.”

Thom Duddy, Executive Director, Adapt Pharma: “Pennsylvania is among the most impacted states facing the opioid epidemic, but we are also a leader in how we have chosen to respond to and tackle this issue. As a Philadelphia-area-based company, we are grateful for the work Governor Wolf, Physician General Dr. Levine, and Secretary Tennis have done to improve access to immediate-acting tools, such as NARCAN® Nasal Spray. Over the past six months, we have had the opportunity to partner with community leaders, such as the police and school systems, in order to educate, increase naloxone access, and offer support to on-the-ground harm reduction efforts to help Pennsylvanians in their battle with addiction. It is through these efforts and the legislative initiatives of leaders like Governor Wolf that we are hopeful for the wellbeing and future of the Commonwealth.”

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