Gov. Wolf signs 12th Renewal of Opioid Disaster Declaration

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(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — On Thursday, Governor Tom Wolf signed the 12th renewal of his Opioid Disaster Declaration originally created in Jan. 2018. The declaration was signed to help Pennsylvania fight the opioid and heroin epidemic that rapidly increased two years ago.

Alongside the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Wolf’s Opioid Disaster Declaration will allow 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.”

In addition, the declaration allows resources to be redirected and reorganized to better align with programs from multiple agencies, and then assist these programs in working together to mitigate the opioid crisis in the Commonwealth.

“As the commonwealth continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic during the winter months, continuing our fight against the opioid epidemic has never been more important,” DDAP Secretary Jennifer Smith said.

While the COVID-19 pandemic requires social distancing and mitigation efforts to eliminate the spread of the virus, the opioid epidemic requires community support for those struggling with substance abuse disorders.

“Renewing the disaster declaration allows us to continue our efforts to ensure that we are helping those in need. Recovery works, and treatment is possible for those with this disease,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said.

The Opioid Disaster Declaration focuses on addressing the areas of prevention, rescue and treatment of the opioid crisis.

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