BLOG: Drug and Alcohol Programs Secretary Tennis Honors First Responders (Round-up)

By: Eryn Spangler, Press Assistant

May 26, 2016

Secretary Tennis this week traveled to Washington County to attend an awards ceremony for first responders who were recognized for their efforts in combating opioid overdoses. The secretary highlighted the importance and availability of the overdose reversal drug naloxone and discussed the Wolf Administration’s priorities for addressing the opioid abuse epidemic in Pennsylvania.

Take a look at the additional coverage below:
  • Herald Standard: Washington County police, first responders recognized for overdose prevention efforts

    Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Secretary Gary Tennis joined county officials in honoring 22 police departments for having medication drop off boxes in their stations and 46 first responders who administered Narcan (naloxone) to people in the throes of drug overdoses…Statewide, the lives of 988 people suffering overdoses have been saved by police and firefirefighters by administering Narcan, [Secretary] Tennis said. Washington County first responders reversed 61 overdoses since they were trained last year, he said.

  • Post-Gazette: Washington County awards first responders who prevented overdose deaths

    Since July 1, more than 600 first responders were trained by the Washington Drug and Alcohol Commission, the Washington County Department of Public Safety and the Washington County District Attorney’s Office. [Secretary] Tennis emphasized that using Narcan to revive unconscious victims is safe and effective. “We don’t just save their lives, but we also hand these individuals off to treatment,” he said. “Those who are most at-risk are people who have already experienced an overdose.”

  • Observer-Reporter: Efforts to fight overdose epidemic highlighted in Washington County

    Deaths from prescription opioids now outnumber those from any other drug, including heroin. “And the folks on heroin – four out of five are starting on opioids,” [Secretary] Tennis said…Tennis also stressed family members of people addicted to opioids are able to obtain naloxone, and also encouraged people to get rid of unused prescriptions. Twenty-two departments received awards Tuesday for providing drop boxes for unused medication. Area first responders who’ve used naloxone to reverse overdoses in the last year were also recognized.


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