FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 24, 2019
PCCD Helps Combat Opioid Crisis through Naloxone, Technical Assistance, and Prevention
Harrisburg, PA – As part of Stop Overdoses in PA Week, a statewide initiative to provide the lifesaving overdose reversal medication naloxone to Pennsylvanians and connect individuals struggling with the disease of opioid use disorder, the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) provided an update to state officials at the Opioid Command Center on the agency's efforts to combat the crisis through statewide naloxone distribution, technical assistance to counties, and prevention efforts.
Launched in November 2017, PCCD's Naloxone for First Responders Program has provided more than 88,000 doses of intranasal naloxone, or NARCAN® (naloxone HCI) Nasal Spray, to nearly 2,000 first responder agencies in all 67 counties, ranging from law enforcement officers and fire fighters to public library personnel and emergency shelters. The kits are supplied by Emergent BioSolutions (formerly Adapt Pharma, Inc.), headquartered in Radnor.
These efforts have resulted in more than 9,237 reported overdose reversals statewide between November 2017 and June 30, 2019. An additional 4,514 doses of naloxone have been left behind by EMS and other first responder groups across the Commonwealth through the program.
"We cannot get people suffering from the disease of opioid use disorder into treatment if they are dead," Governor Tom Wolf said. "By putting Naloxone in the hands of more people, we are helping to save lives and change the trajectory of Pennsylvania's opioid epidemic."
More than 4,000 additional kits of naloxone were distributed as part of the Wolf Administration's Stop Overdoses in PA Week naloxone distribution day on September 18, with another distribution slated for September 25 at 78 locations across the state.
In addition to its efforts to increase availability of naloxone for first responders statewide, PCCD has also worked with partners to provide technical assistance and training to counties to aid in local prevention and response efforts related to the opioid crisis. These initiatives include:
- Continuing a partnership with the University of Pittsburgh, School of Pharmacy, Program Evaluation Research Unit (PERU) for the development of an Opioid Overdose Reduction Technical Assistance Center (TAC), helping more than 48 counties identify and implement strategies to reduce opioid addiction and overdoses in their communities and providing training programs reaching more than 1,660 individuals statewide;
- Supporting counties seeking to increase opportunities to provide medication assisted treatment (MAT) in combination with comprehensive substance use treatment to eligible individuals in county jails and upon release through its County Jail-Based MAT Programs;
- Providing federal funding to enhance drug court treatment supports across the commonwealth through a partnership with the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP); and
- Investing in local evidence-based prevention, intervention, training, treatment, and education programs through a variety of state and federal funding sources.
For more information on Pennsylvania's response to the opioid crisis, visit www.pa.gov/opioids.
MEDIA CONTACT: Kirsten Kenyon, (717) 265-8505, PCCD