Statement of Attorney General Josh Shapiro on Governor Wolf’s Declaration of Disaster Emergency on Opioid Epidemic

January 10, 2018 | Topic: Opioids

HARRISBURG — Governor Wolf’s statewide disaster declaration on the heroin and opioid epidemic is an important step for Pennsylvanians as we confront the number 1 public health and public safety crisis facing our Commonwealth.

This crisis has been my top priority since I took office last January. The Office of Attorney General arrests on average more than 4 drug dealers a day. Our arrests of medical personnel and others for illegally diverting prescription drugs are up 72 percent. Our national investigation with 41 Attorneys General of the pharmaceutical industry and the opioid painkillers fueling this epidemic is ongoing and active.

But as we continue losing more Pennsylvanians to overdoses, it’s clear we must do more. Governor Wolf’s disaster declaration will enable state agencies to waive regulations, lowering barriers to treatment. It will create a coordinated response within PEMA to allow agencies to take a more unified approach to the epidemic. These steps are in addition to earlier actions by the governor in launching the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, providing funding to implement Centers of Excellence for treatment, and providing law enforcement and first responders with naloxone.

I thank Governor Wolf for his leadership and partnership as we work together every day to save Pennsylvanians’ lives.

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