Pennsylvania Governor Renews State Opioid Disaster Declaration for 8th Time

Gov. Tom Wolf announced another renewal of his state opioid disaster declaration – the eighth one since he first made the declaration on Jan. 10, 2018. Pennsylvania state law regarding disaster declarations is primarily written to address natural disasters and Wolf’s opioid disaster declaration was an unprecedented health emergency-related disaster declaration. Under state law, a state of disaster emergency may be continued by the governor for no more than 90 days, unless renewed by the governor or terminated, at any time, by a concurrent resolution approved by the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Through the collaborative efforts of the Opioid Command Center and its partners, Pennsylvania has:

  • Distributed nearly 6,800 doses of naloxone free to members of the public
  • Assisted thousands of individuals affected by the closures of doctor’s offices through the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program’s Patient Advocacy Program
  • Awarded $3.4 million in federal grants to support services for pregnant and postpartum women with opioid use disorder
  • Hosted medication assisted treatment (MAT) summits across the state to encourage and provide support to those treating individuals with the disease of addiction
  • Partnered with the Independence Blue Cross Foundation to bring the “Someone You Know” public health awareness campaign to Pennsylvania
  • Hosted an Opioid Summit, bringing together professionals, community members, families and others impacted by the opioid crisis in Pennsylvania
  • Answered nearly 30,000 calls to the Get Help Now hotline

Pennsylvania’s rate of opioid prescriptions is now below the federal average and from 2017 to 2018, the most recent data available, overdose deaths declined by 18 percent. Find more information on the state’s response to the opioid crisis here.