01/24/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/24/2020 14:04
Opioid Command Center Continues to Work with Local Organizations to Address Opioid Crisis
Carlisle, PA - The Wolf Administration met today with the Cumberland-Perry County Drug & Alcohol Commission's Task Force on Opiate Prescribing to discuss the latest data regarding the opioid crisis and the Opioid Command Center's response.
'Our Prescription Drug Monitoring Program has played a key role in reducing the number of opioids prescribed and eliminating doctor shopping,' Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. 'The total number of patients who were prescribed high dosages of opioids has decreased by 46 percent, and we have seen an overall drop in opioid prescriptions by 30 percent as we continue to work to prevent the disease of addiction in Pennsylvania. Treatment works and recovery is possible for those affected by opioid use disorder.'
The Prescription Drug Monitoring Program has interstate data-sharing abilities with prescribers and pharmacists in 22 states, the District of Columbia and the Military Health System. Each month, approximately 1.7 million dispensation records of controlled substances are collected by the program.
Within the Department of Health, the Patient Advocacy Program is a point of contact and resource coordinator for patients prescribed controlled substance medications who abruptly lose access to care. The program also is working with patients to learn more about concerns related to the prescribing of opioids and other controlled substances, access to prescriptions, and barriers to finding a doctor.
The Wolf Administration's work to address the opioid crisis focuses on three areas: prevention; rescue; and treatment. The Opioid Command Center, established in January 2018 when Gov. Wolf signed the first opioid disaster declaration, meets every week to discuss the opioid crisis. The command center is staffed by personnel from 16 state agencies and the Office of the Attorney General, spearheaded by the departments of Health and Drug and Alcohol Programs.
Data shows that in 2018, more than 4,400 people died from a drug overdose. This represents an 18 percent decrease in drug overdose deaths from 2017. 2019 data is still being finalized at this time
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. Recent efforts include:
For more information on Pennsylvania's response to the opioid crisis visit www.pa.gov/opioids.
MEDIA CONTACT: Nate Wardle, 717-787-1783or [email protected]
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