Tonight: A Commonwealth Crisis Telephone Town Hall
This evening at 6:30 p.m. is the Telephone Town Hall meeting on the heroin crisis in Pennsylvania.
This is one of five Tele-Town Hall meetings that will be held around the Commonwealth. To sign up, visit www.ACommonwealthCrisis.com or text TALKHEROIN to 828282. There will be a live audio stream at the time of the event on the website as well.
Heroin and opioid addiction has reached epidemic proportions and is devastating our communities. We must act now to further educate people and bring awareness to the opioid epidemic and I am pleased to be able to join with Senator Gene Yaw and my other Senate colleagues in an effort to combat the most devastating drug epidemic in Pennsylvania and in U.S. history.
Since being sworn in as Senator of the 40th District, more than 180 individuals have tragically overdosed in our two-county region. As a state and as lawmakers, it is critical that we do everything possible to address this crisis.
The issue of heroin and opioid abuse has generated serious concern in Harrisburg, with the General Assembly and Governor working together to provide resources and regulations necessary to combat the drug epidemic. An excessive reliance on prescription opiate pain medications must be prevented and the resources to help those with addiction must be made more readily available.
The state has provided “A Commonwealth Crisis” (www.acommonwealthcrisis.com) as a tool to assist Pennsylvanians in learning about the ever growing drug crisis. The website provides information regarding upcoming townhall meetings, links to important resources, and updates on legislative proposals.
The following opioid-related legislation has been signed into law, in addition to the $15 million the Legislature devoted as part of the 2016-17 budget, to help fight the opioid abuse crisis:
Act 80 of 2015, established the non-narcotic Medication Assisted Substance Abuse Treatment Grant Pilot Program within the Department of Corrections (DOC).
Act 139 of 2015, also known as David’s Law, provides legal protection for witnesses, or Good Samaritans providing medical help at the scene of an overdose. It also allowed naloxone, a synthetic drug that blocks opiate receptors in the nervous system, to be prescribed to a third party, such as a friend or family member, and administered by law enforcement and firefighters.
Act 191 of 2014, expanded the types of drugs monitored under the state’s existing Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) to include Schedule II through V controlled substances. It also created a Board within the Department of Health to establish and oversee an electronic data system listing.
In addition to legislative action, several local and community-wide efforts are taking place to help combat the drug crisis.
Pennsylvania has established a permanent medication drop box program through the state, county, and local law enforcement agencies. The program will expand the options currently available for households to dispose of discontinued, expired or unwanted medications in a manner that considers public health, as well as the environment.
Medical drop boxes are located at the following locations:
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Senate Box 203040
2989 Route 611, Suite 103
Tannersville, PA 18372
Phone (570) 620-4326
FAX (570) 620-4379
8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.
Northampton County Office