(WBRE/WYOU-TV) Governor Tom Wolf kicked off his administration’s first Opioid Command Center Opioid Summit: Think Globally, Act Locally. The event brought together 200 individuals helping their communities fight the opioid crisis, including community organizations, non-profits, schools, health care workers, addiction and recovery specialists, and families affected by the opioid crisis.
“Pennsylvania has approached the opioid crisis with an “all-hands-on-deck” response to a threat to our commonwealth,” Governnor Wolf said. “In addition to our many local partners, almost every department in the state has been pursuing some type of program to assist Pennsylvanians affected by the opioid crisis.”
The Governor highlighted the accomplishments and contributions of numerous state agencies, as well as the overall progress in fighting the crisis.
Successful efforts include distributing more than 13,000 free naloxone kits across the commonwealth during three distribution days and 50,000 kits to first responders who have administered nearly 30,000 doses of the life-saving medication to date; expanding access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in state correctional facilities; providing MAT grants to health care facilities and removing the need for prior-authorization from most private health insurers in the state to treat with MAT.
“These efforts and more are contributing to winning this battle, raising awareness, reducing the stigma associated with opioid use disorder, and expanding access to treatment, all of which are saving lives and putting people on the road to recovery,” Governor Wolf said. The no-cost two-day summit held in State College focuses on the importance of communication, cooperation, and collaboration to provide and implement local level initiatives.
Following the governor’s opening remarks, the state’s health secretaries involved in the Opioid Command Center held a panel discussion on the role each agency plays in the crisis. A federal panel featuring the United States Health and Human Services, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Office of National Drug Control Policy will kick off the second day of the summit.
(Information from PACAST)