HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 17, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Secretary of Health Karen Murphy today convened the fifth meeting of the "Achieving Better Care by Monitoring All Prescriptions" Program (ABC-MAP) governance board. The goal of the board is to develop policies and procedures to expand the state's prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP).
Today's discussion focused on the law enforcement aspects of curbing opioid abuse at a state and local level. The board welcomed special guest speakers Col. Tyree Blocker, Acting Commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police, and Gary Tuggle, Special Agent in Charge for the federal Drug Enforcement Agency's Philadelphia field office.
"Working with law enforcement officials allows the department to develop a more comprehensive defense against the epidemic of opioid abuse in Pennsylvania," said Secretary Murphy. "Under the leadership of Governor Tom Wolf, this board is dedicated to ending the scourge of opioid addiction that is running rampant in the commonwealth."
Col. Blocker reviewed heroin trends in Pennsylvania, including the exponential growth of heroin overdoses and overdose deaths. He also outlined state police efforts to combat opioid abuse, including equipping all patrol cars with naloxone and expanded information sharing among law enforcement agencies.
Agent Tuggle discussed federal initiatives to respond to the heroin epidemic, noting the current crisis differs from the post-Vietnam War heroin epidemic and crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980s in that it has what he called "a feeder system" -- the use and misuse of prescription opiates – and requires partnerships on all levels to successfully address.
Also at the meeting, Secretary Murphy shared a progress report in the implementation of ABC-MAP, noting the department's new PDMP awareness information for inclusion in health care group newsletters, that the announcement of the new position of PDMP director generated 50 applications, and that the vendor procurement process continues to move forward.
The ABC-MAP board members are:
- Secretary of Health Dr. Karen Murphy
- Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine
- Secretary of the Department of Human Services Ted Dallas
- Secretary of the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Gary Tennis
- Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller
- Aging Secretary Teresa Osborne
- Acting State Police Commissioner Colonel Tyree Blocker
- Attorney General Kathleen Kane
- Secretary of State Pedro Cortes
For more information visit the Department of Health website at www.health.pa.gov.
MEDIA CONTACT: Amy Worden, DOH, 717-787-1783
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Health