Pennsylvania issues disaster declaration over opioid crisis


Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa.

Pennsylvania’s governor declared the state’s opioid addiction epidemic a public health emergency Wednesday and ordered a command center set up to treat the crisis like it would a natural disaster.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf signed an order for the 90-day disaster declaration, widening access to the state’s prescription-drug monitoring program and making it easier for medical professionals to get people into drug treatment more quickly.

“We’re still losing too many Pennsylvanians, and as long as that’s happening, I’m going to continue to look for ways to address this epidemic,” Wolf said in the Capitol.

Wolf described the impact on individuals and families in the state, which experienced more than 4,600 fatal overdoses in 2016, an increase of more than one-third from the prior year.

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