The Opioid Crisis
The opioid crisis has become a reality for nearly everyone in our district. I recognize this heavy weight on our shoulders and plan to fight for resources for addicts, counseling for families and peer groups, and legislation that gets to the core of the problem. We have the power to solve this problem now. I am committed to working very hard at solutions.
Here are some staggering facts.
- Every day, an average of 115 Americans die after overdosing on opioids. (cdc.gov) 13 of these are right here in Pennsylvania. (dea.gov)
- In 2016, 4,642 drug related overdose deaths were reported by PA Coroners. That’s an increase of 37% from 2015 in PA. (dea.gov)
- The percent increase in drug-related overdose deaths between 2015 and 2016 was larger in rural counties (42 percent) compared to urban counties (34 percent). (dea.gov)
- PA is one of the top five states with the highest rates of drug related deaths in 2016. (cdc.gov)
- It is reported that about 80 percent of people who use heroin, first misused prescription opioids. (National Institute on Drug Abuse, drugabuse.gov)
What can be done?
- Improve access to treatment and recovery services.
- Work with insurance companies to help educate their customers.
- Make available overdose-reversing drugs to first responders.
- Provide support for cutting-edge research on pain and addiction.
- Advance better practices for pain management.
- Have real conversations with our friends and families and give them the support and help they need, without condemnation.
This problem did not happen overnight, and it will not be fixed overnight. However, the counter to drug abuse is community, a community that offers hope. Rest assured that Clint will be pulling leaders together in our district and in Harrisburg to fight this epidemic. He will stand with you to take back the ground lost to the opioid crisis.