Opioid and heroin abuse is an epidemic Pennsylvania struggles to overcome every day. In 2015, more than 3,300 people in Pennsylvania died as a result of an overdose, on average 10 people per day.
Governor Tom Wolf signed legislation in 2016 limiting emergency room doctors to a seven-day limit on any opioid prescription. In order to manage and control how many people are using prescription drugs, the legislation also requires prescribers to check a drug database everytime doctors prescribe opioids.
“I chose to fight the opioid crisis head on,” Wolf said.
The plan of action his administration has developed in response to the opioid crisis includes:
- Holding 91 opioid roundtable discussions
- Development of 45 treatment centers for those battling addiction
- Working to limit opioid prescriptions to minors
- Improving education for opioid prescribers
- Strengthening the prescription drug monitoring program
- Limiting opioid prescriptions to emergency room patients
- Expanding drop-off locations for unwanted prescription drugs
Wolf notes that his concern about drug use in the state extends beyond opioids. He's been reluctant to pass a recreational marijuana bill, he says, because, “I don’t think Pennsylvania is ready for it.”
Breaking news and the stories that matter to your neighborhood.
During his tenure, however, medical marijuana has been legalized in the commonwealth.