May 20, 2016 Governor Wolf Urges Pennsylvania’s Congressional Delegation to Fund Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Reduction Act Press Release, Substance Use Disorder Harrisburg, PA – Yesterday, Governor Wolf sent a letter to Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation urging them to fund the comprehensive Opioid Abuse and Reduction Act of 2016. The text of the letter is below and can also be viewed here.Dear Congressman/Senator –The magnitude of the addiction and overdose death epidemic in Pennsylvania is shocking: at least seven Pennsylvanians die every day from a drug overdose. With nearly 2,500 overdose deaths in Pennsylvania in 2014 and estimates that the 2015 total will be higher, a collaborative effort on the federal, state, and local levels is crucial in combating this crisis.I have been holding roundtable discussions throughout Pennsylvania in order to listen to local and state officials about the challenges that they are facing, as well as discuss the initiatives of the administration, the state legislature, county agencies, treatment centers, hospitals, and medical schools. These roundtables are an opportunity to work collaboratively with the General Assembly and community leaders to ensure Pennsylvania leads the nation in the fight to combat the opioid abuse and heroin use crisis.Last week, I was encouraged by the passage of a package of bills in the United States House of Representatives that would help to combat the opioid and heroin crisis in the United States. After meeting with local leaders and families throughout Pennsylvania who have been personally affected by this epidemic, I understand how crucial federal, state, and local resources are to combating this epidemic. I am respectfully requesting that you vote to fund Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Reduction Act of 2016 (H.R. 5046) in order to provide addicted individuals and their families with the resources they so desperately need.My administration has taken several actions to fight the heroin and opioid crisis including: signing a statewide standing order for naloxone, making it possible for all Pennsylvanians to access this life-saving drug; equipping the Pennsylvania State Police with naloxone so that those troopers who are first on the scene of an overdose can have another tool on-hand during these emergencies; partnering with Adapt Pharma to make Narcan available to public high schools across the state at no cost; developing the ABC-MAP prescription drug monitoring program to detect and prevent prescription fraud and abuse, which contribute to addiction; and appointing a director for the state’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) Office, who will work to ensure that the PDMP meets its goal of assisting healthcare professionals in identifying patients that would benefit from treatment.In an effort to curtail drug addiction and curb the supply of excess drugs that can be used illicitly, the Department of Health is leading an effort to build upon the opioid prescribing guidelines already created, including specific guidelines for emergency department providers, dentists, obstetricians and gynecologists, and pharmacists. These guidelines give healthcare providers direction for safe and effective pain relief practices, with greater emphasis on non-opioid therapies and greater caution to prevent addiction and diversion. In addition, the DOH recently joined dozens of healthcare organizations, medical experts, and consumer advocacy groups in signing petitions requesting changes to federal pain management requirements that are believed to foster dangerous prescribing practices.The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs has led a statewide initiative to get naloxone into the hands of municipal police departments. To date, more than 320 municipal police departments are equipped with naloxone, and those departments have reversed more than 900 overdoses as a result of that effort. DDAP also has developed a “warm hand-off” policy, mandating county-level drug and alcohol administrators to create processes whereby overdose survivors are taken directly from the emergency department to a licensed drug treatment provider. In some areas of the commonwealth, early reports indicate as many as 50 percent to 70 percent of overdose survivors are getting into treatment immediately through this process. Under DDAP’s leadership, Pennsylvania’s Prescription Drug Take-Back Program is helping communities properly dispose of unused and unwanted prescriptions. To date, there are nearly 450 take-back boxes located at police stations across Pennsylvania. In 2015, more than 56,000 pounds of prescription drugs were taken back and destroyed.Furthermore, the expansion of Medicaid eligibility in Pennsylvania under the Affordable Care Act has greatly increased access to treatment services for hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians.Finally, my proposed 2016-17 budget provides more than $34 million to treat 11,250 new individuals with substance use disorder. The Department of Human Services will provide 50 new Opioid Use Disorder Centers of Excellence for individuals with substance use disorder, providing medication-assisted treatment and appropriate wraparound services, such as cognitive-based therapies.The funding of the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Reduction Act would be instrumental to adding to state and local efforts to combat the heroin and opioid crisis. Please keep in mind the needs of the millions of Pennsylvanians who are personally affected by this as you consider funding the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Reduction Act of 2016.Sincerely,Governor Tom Wolf# # #Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) – Kavem Hodge struck his maiden List A hundred but it proved in vain, as opener Chandrapaul Hemraj carved out his second, to lift Guyana Jaguars to a crucial 22-run victory over Windward Islands Volcanoes in the Regional Super50 Cup here late Tuesday.Chasing 295 in a day/night Group B fixture at Queen’s Park Oval, Hodge fashioned a high quality 123 off 145 deliveries as Volcanoes ended on 272 for eight off their 50 overs, to extend their wretched run with their fifth defeat in six outings.Hemraj, meanwhile, stroked exactly 100 off 116 balls, an innings that laid the foundation for Jaguars’ impressive 294 for nine off their 50 overs after being sent in.Opening partner Tagenarine Chanderpaul struck a patient 64 while Raymon Reifer produced a cameo 52 off 33 deliveries to propel Jaguars to their highest total of the tournament.Jaguars, who have been unconvincing throughout the campaign, moved to 16 points with their fourth win in six matches, creating a virtual deadlock in the group.Leaders West Indies Emerging Players and second-placed hosts Trinidad and Tobago Red Force are also both on 16 points.It was Hemraj who provided the early momentum, smashing six fours and five sixes as he put on an entertaining 171 for the first wicket with Chanderpaul who counted four fours in a 100-ball knock.The start, however, was undone in the 36th over when left-arm spinner Larry Edward removed both Hemraj and Chanderpaul in the space of three deliveries with no addition to the score.When captain Leon Johnson was lbw to leg-spinner Keron Cottoy without scoring in the next over, Jaguars were suddenly stuttering on 171 for three and forced to rebuild.The left-handed Reifer emerged at the forefront of that effort, lashing half-dozen fours and five sixes in a 73-run fourth-wicket stand off 50 deliveries with Chris Barnwell, whose 38 came from 26 balls and included two fours and sixes.Facing a demanding required run rate in their run chase, Volcanoes lost out-of-form veteran left-hander Devon Smith (11) cheaply in the third over but they regained their balance through Hodge who masterminded two successive critical stands.First, he put on 65 for the second wicket with Desron Maloney whose 37 came from 47 balls and included four fours and two sixes.Then, Hodge found another ally in Alick Athanaze to add a further 146 for the third wicket, a partnership which put Volcanoes firmly on course to overhaul their target.All told, Hodge belted eight fours and two sixes while Athanaze gathered a sparkling 63 off 66 balls with two fours and three sixes.Not for the first time, the complexion of the game changed when six wickets tumbled for 42 runs in quick time, leaving Volcanoes well adrift.