Pennsylvania Governor Declares Statewide Disaster Emergency on Opioid Epidemic

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Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed an executive order declaring heroin and opioid epidemic a statewide disaster emergency. He joined the list of governors who made such declaration to combat the crisis of heroin and opioid addiction.

In October, President Donald Trump declared opioid epidemic a public health emergency. He noted that 64,000 Americans died because of opioid overdoses last year. The number of deaths caused by opioid overdoses quadrupled since 1999. The President also noted that one million Americans are addicted to heroin and 11 million abused prescription opioids last year.

Pennsylvania among the states with the highest rate of drug overdose deaths

Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that Pennsylvania is among the states with the highest rate of drug overdose deaths. Last year, 4,627 people died of drug overdose in the state. According to the agency, prescription and illicit opioids is the main driver of drug overdose deaths.

Over the past several months, Gov. Wolf’s administration implemented several measures to address the opioid epidemic. The state government redesigned its prescription drug monitoring program to reduce-doctor shopping and combat pill mills.