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CDC Estimates Show Decline in Number of Drug Overdose Deaths in Pennsylvania

July 25, 2019

According to provisional data posted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of reported drug overdose deaths in Pennsylvania has declined by 18.8 percent over the last year (from 5,434 during December 2017 to 4,410 during December 2018).

The opioid crisis has taken a devastating toll on Pennsylvania. During the three-year period from 2015 to 2017, there were 13,408 drug-related overdose deaths. Pennsylvania’s hospital community has worked with state and local governments, as well as community organizations, to address the crisis through prescription guidance, overdose prevention education, warm hand-offs, drug takeback initiatives, and individual facility programs.

Earlier this month, HAP announced the formation of its Opioid Learning Action Network (LAN), a two-year two-year learning collaborative open to all Pennsylvania hospitals. Funded in by Bloomberg Philanthropies, it is designed to demonstrate that, by working together, hospitals can adopt evidence-based best practices to address this tragic public health problem and save lives.

The program, which is free of charge, will provide members with opportunities to engage in collaborative learning through:

  • Annual in-person meetings 
  • Regional gatherings with facilitated information sharing 
  • Webinars and other distance learning technologies
  • Collaborative website, metrics, and performance tracking
  • Office hours and virtual small group discussions with clinical/administrative champions and technical experts

HAP’s Opioid LAN will kick off during an August 20 conference in Harrisburg.

The HAP Opioid LAN will be administered by Vital Strategies and evaluated by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The Pennsylvania College of Emergency Physicians will serve in an advisory capacity for the project.

For additional information or questions about HAP’s Opioid LAN, please contact Jennifer Jordan, HAP’s vice president, regulatory advocacy.

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