Pa. officials address ongoing opioid crisis even after emergency declaration ended

This Week in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Opioids are still very much a problem in Pennsylvania but there is no longer a declared disaster.

The Pa. legislature allowed Governor Wolf’s emergency declaration to end on August 25 after three years despite the fact that overdose deaths surged during the pandemic to over 5,000 deaths.

So has losing its official designation as an emergency changed anything in the state’s fight against opioids?

“We’re still meeting weekly as a group of 16 state agencies to talk specifically about the addiction crisis in Pennsylvania and what each of our agencies can contribute to that cause,” Pa. Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Secretary Jennifer Smith said. “So disaster declaration or not it doesn’t change our resolve to continue addressing it.”

September is also Addiction Recovery Month. The department has a list of events on its website.

This year’s theme is “Recovery is for Everyone: Every Person, Every Family, Every Community,” and will have events across the state, including York, Lancaster and Harrisburg.

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