HARRISBURG, PA — Governor Tom Wolf’s Opioid Command Center announced accomplishments in the continuing battle against the heroin and opioid crisis amid the release of the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council’s (PHC4) report, “Hospitalizations for Opioid Overdose – 2016 to 2017.”
“Giving people the opportunity to get into treatment makes recovery possible,” Gov. Wolf said. “Overdose survivors getting to the hospital means more lives are being saved and more people are getting into treatment. Our efforts to increase treatment options, decrease overprescribing, and save lives by making Naloxone more accessible and available, while focusing on transitioning those saved to treatment, are making an impact for many Pennsylvanians. But clearly there is still work to do.”
According to the PHC4 report, hospitalizations from overdoses from pain medications decreased by just over 2 percent and those from heroin overdoses increased at a slower rate (12.7 percent) between 2016 and 2017 than they had in the five previous years (24 percent on average). This slower rate is a step in the right direction.
Disaster declaration initiatives include increasing access to and availability of naloxone, getting more people into treatment, and saving lives across the commonwealth. As of 2017, Single County Authorities (SCAs) are required to report on attempts at a warm hand-off, a direct referral from treatment for an overdose in an emergency department to treatment for a substance use disorder. In 2017, 51 percent of warm hand-off attempts resulted in a referral to treatment.
The Opioid Command Center also released a status update on key disaster declaration initiatives, put in place as part of Gov. Wolf’s initial declaration on Jan. 10:
- There have been 3,660 total calls to the Drug and Alcohol Program toll-free helpline, 1-800-662-4357, since Jan. 1, 2018
- 3,414 of those callers have been connected to services.
- 2,887 of those callers have been connected to emergency treatment programs to include Medical Assisted Treatment, Detox/Crisis stabilization, inpatient and intensive outpatient services.
- The hotline has the capability to work with clients in 240 languages.
- 686 drug take-back locations in PA
- 29,208 doses of naloxone have been distributed across the commonwealth. 52 percent of those doses have been redistributed to:
- Law Enforcement Agencies
- EMS and Fire Departments
- Human Service Agencies
- Hospitals and Medical Facilities
- Schools, Libraries and other Community Organizations
- 1436 overdose reversals
- The Overdose Information Network (ODIN) reports 1,069 naloxone administrations by law enforcement.
- 213 birth certificates have been issued free of charge, enabling patients to enroll in opioid treatment programs.
- 105 doses of naloxone were left behind by EMS agencies.
- Approximately 97,000 prescribers and delegates registered with the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP).
- PDMP averages over 1.1 million searches monthly.
- The PDMP in credited with aiding in the 14 percent reduction in opioid prescriptions, ranking PA second in the nation for reductions.
More information on the Wolf Administration’s efforts to combat the opioid epidemic and how people suffering from this disease can get help is here.
Source: Office of the Governor, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
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