Gov. Tom Wolf signed a 90-day opioid disaster declaration on Jan.10. He has since renewed that declaration. On Monday, we heard the latest steps being taken to tackle the problem. Officials with Pennsylvania’s Opioid Operational Command Center gave an update on the state’s battle against opioids.
“Going back to the beginning of 2015, police have administered over 8,600 doses of Naloxone,” Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said.
Pennsylvania also launched the Get Help Now Hotline, which has seen almost 5,000 calls since January. The hotline links those battling opioid addiction with others who can provide treatment.
With the disaster declaration, babies born addicted have become a reportable condition. Since then, more than a thousand cases have been reported.
“Addiction is a disease, it is not a moral failing,” Levine said.
In an effort to keep people from falling victim to that disease. Officials introduced opioid prescribing guidelines for worker’s compensation.
“These guidelines are targeted towards any healthcare provider who may encounter or treat a patient with a work-related injury,” Levine said.
There were more than 17,000 worker’s compensation claims made in Pennsylvania in 2017, with the state having the third highest percentage of injured workers who become long-term opioid users.