HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — An opening hearing at the State Capitol about opioids and overdoses took place and there are new developments and new prevention tactics underway.

In the United States, there were about 70,000 deaths caused by overdoses this year. Last year, there were more than 105,000.

The Overdose Mapping Act went into effect at the start of 2023. This act enables law enforcement agencies to quickly record, analyze, and share information regarding fatal and non-fatal drug overdoses.

“You’re on the ground, you see it every day. What can we do to help you prevent these kinds of horrific things?” Rep. Eddie Day Pashinkski (D) of Luzerne County asked members of the audience at the hearing.

Captain Daniel Jones, Intelligence Division Director in the Bureau of Criminal Investigation for the Pennsylvania State Police, said that utilizing this resource can help community leaders better filter information so they can serve their communities better.

Jones says that there are more than 18,000 authorized users for the overdose information platform, and he anticipates there to be another 20,000 users trained to use the platform over the next three years.