Governor Wolf Joins PCCD at Opioid Symposium, Discusses Wolf Administration Efforts to Combat Heroin Epidemic

January 27, 2016

Camp Hill, PA – Governor Tom Wolf joined the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) today at the commission’s 2016 Opioid Symposium, entitled “Prevention, Intervention, Treatment, and Recovery.” The governor joined Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency Chairman Josh Shapiro, Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine, Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Secretary Gary Tennis, and professionals in the law enforcement and healthcare fields to discuss statewide efforts to combat the opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania.

“This is the largest event focused on combating the heroin epidemic that my administration has undertaken so far,” said Governor Wolf. “I am proud of the work my administration has done together so far. Last year, we made many strides in the fight against heroin.”

The Wolf Administration has made the fight against heroin a top priority. Some of the administration’s initiatives include: signing a statewide standing order for naloxone, making it possible for all Pennsylvanians to access this life-saving drug; equipping the Pennsylvania State Police with naloxone, so that those troopers who are first on the scene of an overdose can have another tool on-hand during these emergencies; training Pennsylvania Capitol Police to administer and carry naloxone; and supporting the use of naloxone at schools across the commonwealth.

In addition to these actions, the Wolf Administration is currently working to develop the ABC-MAP prescription drug monitoring program to detect and prevent prescription fraud and abuse, which contribute to addiction. This program was the recipient of two federal grants last year: the 2015 federal Harold Rogers grant for $409,000 and a CDC grant of $900,000 to enhance, maximize, and support the implementation of ABC-MAP.

The 2016 Opioid Symposium was conceived by the PCCD after the commission was approached by county level officials who were eager to gather more information from the state on how they could combat the heroin epidemic in their communities. The PCCD went on to convene meetings with other state agencies in order to bring together state and local law enforcement and health care officials to jointly address the issue at the symposium.

“Every drug overdose death is preventable. The only we can win this fight is by working together to implement prevention, intervention, and treatment strategies, ” said PCCD Chairman Josh Shapiro. “That is why today is so important. Today we have brought together officials from all across Pennsylvania who are committed to working with us to stem the tide of this epidemic. I would like to thank Governor Wolf for the leadership he has shown on this issue.”

At the symposium, Wolf Administration officials, district attorneys, judges, doctors, drug and alcohol specialists, and academic experts from the University of Pittsburgh and Penn State hosted panels to address the prevention, intervention, and treatment of opioid addiction and abuse. County officials then worked to develop individual strategic plans based off of this information.

“Today, as you brainstorm strategies to combat the heroin epidemic in your counties, remember that you are the folks who have been on the front lines of this issue for years now,” said Governor Wolf. “You are the best team to fight this epidemic. My administration supports you.”


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