Statewide overdose crisis seminar to begin Monday


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Monday begins the two-day Pennsylvania Statewide Overdose Crisis Seminar.

The two-day event promotes Harm Reduction and a Safety-First Approach to the Overdose Crisis. Advocates, government officials, clinicians, and community leaders will come together for in Harrisburg to discuss cutting edge research and evidence-based solutions to the overdose epidemic. 

There will be unique tracks, each designed to bring the latest education and opportunities for growth in specific fields. The four tracks featured will be medical, clinical, community and law enforcement. For a detailed conference, agenda click here.

“The overdose crisis in Pennsylvania has reached a critical state and we need to act now,” said Devin Reaves, the executive director of the Pennsylvania Harm Reduction Coalition. “We are excited to build a community of passionate stakeholders committed to creating a unified approach that delivers safety, health, and wellness to all citizens of our state.”

The conference will feature important voices from Governor Tom Wolf’s administration including Drug and Alcohol Programs Secretary Jennifer Smith, Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine, and Policy and Planning Secretary Meg Snead.

According to statistics released by the group, more than 70,000 people in the United States died as a result of overdose in 2017, exceeding all other forms of accidental-injury deaths in the nation. Nearly 5,400 Pennsylvania residents died of overdose in 2017.

By comparison, approximately 3,300 Pennsylvanians died from homicides in the years between 2012 and 2016.

Pennsylvania had the highest number of drug overdose deaths in 2017 among all U.S. states and more than double the national average.

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