January 7, 2019
Wolf Administration Highlights Work to Address
Opioid Crisis, Vows Continued Effort in Second Term
PA – Governor Tom
Wolf and his administration pledged today to continue working tirelessly during
his second term to combat the opioid crisis through the areas of prevention,
rescue and treatment as they highlighted work completed to fight the crisis
over the past four years.
administration has worked to assist those people who are struggling with opioid
use disorder by increasing access to Medicaid, offering a free hotline for
people to get help and providing naloxone to first responders and the public,”
Governor Wolf said. “We are hopeful the number of opioid deaths is decreasing,
and we pledge to continue our efforts to assist people affected by this
February 2015, Governor Wolf expanded Medicaid in Pennsylvania, allowing more
than 125,000 to receive treatment for substance use disorders. Also, in 2015,
then-physician general Dr. Rachel Levine signed a standing order for naloxone,
the lifesaving opioid overdose reversal medication; the governor began a series
of more than 90 opioid roundtable discussions; the Department of Human Services
opened 45 Centers of Excellence for opioid use disorder treatment in
communities across the commonwealth; and the Department of Drug and Alcohol
Programs introduced the warm handoff program to get more people into treatment
for opioid use disorder, all leading up to the January 2018 opioid disaster
declaration, which has been renewed four times, most recently in December 2018.
Governor Wolf first signed the heroin and opioid disaster declaration, 16 state
agencies, through the Opioid Command Center (OCC), have continuously worked to
fight the opioid epidemic and have made significant progress to help
individuals and families dealing with this crisis.
the disaster declaration, some accomplishments include waiving birth
certificate fees for individuals seeking treatment, using federal Medicaid
funding in treatment facilities to provide more than 12,000 individuals access
to medically necessary treatment, and providing career services to people who
have been impacted by the opioid epidemic and plan to return to work.
latest renewal of the disaster declaration, which has covered nearly a year,
shows that there is still work to be done to address this crisis,” Gov. Wolf
said. “Addressing this crisis requires a multi-faceted approach involving a
wide range of state agencies, including health-related agencies, public safety
and law enforcement, and community partners.”
the Wolf Administration distributed 6,105 kits of naloxone as part of Stop
Overdoses in PA: Get Help Now Week,
a statewide initiative to get the overdose reversal medication naloxone to
Pennsylvanians and get help for residents suffering from the disease of
opioid-use disorder. An additional 1,465 people left their name and contact
information requesting to receive naloxone.
Wolf’s efforts over the past four years, working with state agencies, local,
regional and federal officials, have resulted in significant action to address
the opioid crisis:
Prescription Drug Monitoring Program has reduced the prescription of
opioids by more than 20 percent and has virtually eliminated doctor
Opioid Data Dashboard and Data Dashboard 2.0 has provided public-facing
data regarding prevention, rescue and treatment.
PacMAT centers are serving as part of a hub-and-spoke model to provide
treatment to people where they live.
establishment of the OCC and its capacity to facilitate coordination
across agencies has helped to tear down silos and provide solutions to
this crisis and discuss areas of work that overlap among several agencies
in a streamlined manner.
waiver of birth certificate fees for those with opioid use disorder has
helped more than 1,100 people gain easier entry into recovery programs.
standing order signed by Dr. Rachel Levine in 2018 allowed EMS to leave
behind more than 620 doses of naloxone.
than 45 Centers of Excellence, administered by the Department of Human
Services, are now providing evidence-based treatment to those on Medicaid
suffering from a substance use disorder.
DART survey referral system was introduced to assist getting those who
need treatment in navigating available resources.
than 1,500 prescribers in 2018 received education and with funding
available to reach another 2,000 additional in 2019.
than 22,000 physicians have received training on how to prescribe opioids
cautiously and judiciously.
drug take-back boxes helped properly dispose of 482,000 pounds of unwanted
drugs in 2018.
Get Help Now Hotline received more than 15,000 calls this year, with 45
percent of callers connected directly to a treatment provider.
Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) has expanded its
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) program and began testing its MAT
initiatives in 2018.
DOC body scanner pilot project proved successful in reducing overdoses and
violent crime in a number of facilities and is currently being expanded to
than 100 licensed physicians or prescribers have been disciplined for
wrongful practice over the past two years.
schools have received education and training on opioids with plans in
place to make opioid education a standard component of school-based
than 25,000 doses of naloxone have been purchased and distributed through
the county entities, leading to 4,501 reversals.
Medicaid waiver for prior authorization requirements for evidence-based
opioid use disorder treatments, with commercial insurers quickly following
local partners in developing strategic plans and funding community-based
intervention programs through grants such as Cumberland County’s opioid
enforcement seized heroin, fentanyl among other illicit drugs to help keep
them off the street.
link to a complete 2015-2108 timeline of accomplishments here.
“The opioid crisis has been and
continues to be a priority, and we will continue to work to assist those
affected by the disease of addiction, their loved ones, and their communities,”
Governor Wolf said. “I am committed to continuing this important work in my
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NOTE: The following are satellite coordinates
for the press conference. The feed will be available at 3:15 p.m.
Opioid Epidemic Update
January 7, 2019
TIME: 15:15 to
FORMAT: 16 x 9 HD
SATELLITE: Galaxy 17
(KU-Band - DIGITAL)
ORBITAL POSITION: 91
TRANSPONDER: K 12
CHANNEL: Lower (18Mhz)
SYM RATE: 13.235 msps
DOWNLINK POL: Vertical
DOWNLINK FREQ: 11931.00
Modulation Type: DVB-S,