BLOG: Governor Wolf Continues Fight Against Pennsylvania’s Opioid Epidemic (Round-up)

By: Eryn Spangler, Press Assistant

June 06, 2016

Last week, Governor Wolf continued his statewide tour of roundtable discussions regarding the opioid abuse epidemic plaguing Pennsylvania. Attended by legislators, local officials, law enforcement, and medical professionals, the roundtable discussions have been successful in creating larger conversation on how to best combat the current crisis.

“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’s 2016-17 budget proposal provides $34 million to establish new treatment centers and improve treatment options for Pennsylvanians struggling with substance abuse disorder. Once established through the Department of Human Services, the proposed Opioid Use Disorder Centers of Excellence would provide medication-assisted treatment and appropriate wraparound services, such as cognitive-based therapies, for individuals in need of treatment.

Take a look at the additional coverage below:
  • Observer-Reporter: Gov. Wolf visits Washington for drug epidemic roundtable discussion

    The meeting in Washington was one of many across the state Gov. Tom Wolf has led recently to discuss the opioid crisis with regional officials and experts. “This is not a rural or an urban issue. This affects everybody, all across the state,” said Wolf, a York County Democrat. “In some cases, it’s called an epidemic. In some places I’ve been to, people refer to it as a plague.” Pennsylvania has followed the rest of the United States as overdose deaths have surged since the early 2000s and garnered increasing attention from policymakers.

  • TribLive: Strategy beyond prison pitched to Wolf to fight Pa. opioid epidemic

    The governor said he is gathering information from about 20 roundtables he has held across the state “We’re hoping to learn from these people on the front lines (of the drug war) about what we can do,” said [Governor] Wolf, who was shown a package of heroin by county Detective Tony Marcocci. “This is a Pennsylvania problem. It doesn’t matter whether you are Republican or Democrat,” said Wolf, a Democrat, as he sat next to state Sen. Kim Ward, R-Hempfield.

  • Associated Press: Gov. Wolf calls $34M request for heroin treatment ‘a start’

    “The question is, why do we have this crisis of opioid addiction?” [Governor] Wolf said. “And second, what are we going to do about it?”… But he called the funding “a down payment” that only begins to address the scope of heroin addiction. “This is something we really need to address in a much more comprehensive way,” he said. “That’s a placeholder.”

  • Newsworks: Wolf wants $34 million for substance abuse-treatment centers

    The money would fund 50 substance abuse-treatment centers around the state. If approved by state lawmakers, the U.S. would kick in an additional $16 million toward the initiative… “These centers of excellence are really essentially outpatient homes all across the state, that would bring people in to treat their substance use disorder disease after they’ve been released from intensive care,” Wolf said at a news conference at Temple University Thursday morning.

  • The Citizens’ Voice: Solutions to drug problem exist; we only need to pay for them

    [Governor ]Wolf’s proposal, when combined with Medicare funding, would help fund the creation of 50 new outpatient centers that could serve 11,000 people per year, potentially saving many lives and preserving many families. One hopes that both parties will fully recognize the dire nature of Pennsylvania’s drug crisis and refuse to allow Wolf’s funding request to fall victim to the partisanship that has gridlocked the budget process since 2015.

  • Sharon Herald: State needs proposed treatment centers

    Speaking to reporters in Philadelphia, Wolf called the [$34 million] request a downpayment to treat this epidemic. “We in Harrisburg are just waking up to the problem” Wolf said. If funds are approved by the state Legislature, Wolf said it would create 50 outpatient treatment centers across the state and serve up to 11,000 people a year.

  • PennLive: Wolf Administration pushes for more funding to combat heroin and opioid epidemic

    Wolf’s budget is proposing more than $34.2 million to fund the centers or “health homes” as they are sometimes called, which will be supplemented with $16 million in federal dollars. “Rather than just treating the addiction, we’re treating the entire person,” [Secretary of Human Services] Dallas said at a Wednesday briefing with reporters. “That gives people the best chance they have to beat their addiction.”

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