HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — On Tuesday, Governor Tom Wolf signed the thirteenth renewal of the state’s opioid disaster declaration originally created in 2018 to help combat the opioid and heroin epidemic.

Since it has been implemented, the opioid disaster declaration has allowed Pennsylvania to respond quickly, increase access to treatment and save lives during the ongoing public health emergency.

In addition to sharing resources and creating efficient coordination efforts for the ever-changing needs of the commonwealth, the declaration, “allows the state to loosen regulations and work outside of typical procedures to expedite aid and initiatives to help those suffering from opioid use disorder and those who work to prevent and treat this medical condition.”

Under the disaster declaration, the Wolf Administration’s work to fight the opioid crisis focuses on prevention, rescue and treatment.

“By leveraging the diverse strengths and skillsets brought together by this group, we have been able to make great strides in saving lives and reducing negative outcomes for those suffering with a substance use disorder,” Gov. Wolf said.

For more information on Pennsylvania’s response to the opioid crisis visit www.pa.gov/opioids.