Governor Wolf Hosts Discussion in Monroe County on Efforts to Combat the Opioid Abuse Epidemic

January 27, 2017

Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Wolf visited Mount Pocono Medical in Mt. Pocono and hosted a discussion with legislators, local leaders, and medical professionals on how to best continue the fight against the opioid abuse epidemic in Pennsylvania.

“Ensuring that Pennsylvanians have access to the mental health and substance use care that they need is a priority for my administration. Every day, we lose ten Pennsylvanians to the disease of opioid addiction and 3,500 Pennsylvanians lost their lives in 2015 alone,” said Governor Wolf. “Mount Pocono Medical is a great example of a treatment center that understands we need to address the disease of addiction by treating the whole person in a holistic way.”

Mount Pocono Medical is a Pinnacle Treatment Center and has provided drug addiction treatment since 2006. It was selected as a substance use disorder treatment Center of Excellence by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. The 2016-2017 budget included $20.4 million for Centers of Excellence which serve as central, efficient hubs around which treatment revolves. These centers will have navigators to assist people with opioid-related substance use disorders through the medical system, and ensure they receive behavioral and physical health care, as well as any evidence-based medication-assisted treatment needed.

“We are grateful to Governor Wolf for naming Mt. Pocono Medical a Center of Excellence,” said Joe Pritchard, CEO of Pinnacle Treatment Centers. “This award allows us to provide more services to individuals suffering from addiction and their families.  We applaud the Governor’s determined efforts in providing the funds necessary to expand treatment services, and for continuing to fight this epidemic in our communities and our State.”

In late September, Governor Wolf addressed a joint session of the General Assembly to outline a set of shared, specific legislative goals that would help tackle the opioid and heroin crisis. Together with Republicans and Democrats in both the House and Senate, Governor Wolf made a commitment to prioritize helping the victims of substance use disorder and the communities that have been devastated by this terrible disease.

During the fall session, real progress was made in helping the victims of substance use disorder and the communities that have been devastated by this terrible disease. The governor and legislators made significant achievements toward fighting this epidemic by passing five major bills that will strengthen the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, restrict the number of pills that can be prescribed to minors or in emergency rooms, establish education curriculum on safe prescribing, and create more locations for the drop-off of drugs among other important initiatives.

If you or someone you know is suffering from substance use disorder, help is available. Please visit or call 1-800-662-HELP.

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