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Governor’s “Stop Overdoses in PA: Get Help Now Week” Includes Distribution of Free Naloxone

December 10, 2018

Governor Tom Wolf has taken another step to reduce the stigma of opioid addiction and increase the use of the life-saving medication naloxone. Today he kicked off “Stop Overdoses in PA: Get Help Now Week,” a statewide initiative to distribute naloxone and get help for residents suffering from opioid-use disorder.

On Thursday, December 13, doses of naloxone will be available for free to any Pennsylvanian at nearly 80 locations across the state. Health centers, local health departments, churches, fire departments, and libraries across the commonwealth will be distributing the naloxone kits, many from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The Governor and cabinet officials are hosting a week of events, including announcing an updated emergency department opioid prescribing guideline at Penn Medicine today. They will end the week with a pharmacy drug take-back event on Friday, December 15.

Today, Dr. Rachel Levine, Secretary of Health, joined officials from Penn Medicine to discuss the recently updated emergency department pain treatment guidelines for safe prescribing of opioids. The latest revision to the 11 safe prescribing guidelines was developed by the Safe and Effective Prescribing Practices Task Force. These guidelines help physicians as they treat patients in the emergency department who may need to be prescribed medication.

According to the Administration, state statistics show that naloxone has been used more than 20,000 times by emergency services personnel and police. Secretary Levine first signed a standing order for naloxone during October, 2015. Since then, any person can obtain naloxone for themselves or a family member without a prescription.

“Ending the opioid epidemic will take time, collaborative resources, and funding,” said Dr. Michael J. Consuelos, HAP’s senior vice president, clinical integration. “We support Governor Wolf’s leadership, and HAP and the hospital community are committed to partnering with state government and community organizations to help individuals recover with dignity.”

For more information about HAP’s work to address the opioid crisis, contact Dr. Michael J. Consuelos, HAP’s senior vice president, clinical integration.

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