JOHNSTOWN, Pa., Dec. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine today joined community health nurses at Martella's Health Mart Pharmacy in Johnstown to demonstrate how to fill prescriptions for naloxone, a life-saving opioid overdose reversal drug that is readily available to anyone in the commonwealth due to the standing order signed by Dr. Levine.
"You can obtain naloxone from any pharmacy in Pennsylvania without a prescription from your physician by just mentioning my standing order," said Dr. Levine. "Opioid overdoses are taking the lives of our friends, family, and community members at a tragic rate. It's very important to have naloxone on hand to save lives and give people the opportunity to get the treatment they need for the disease of addiction."
Naloxone rapidly reverses heroin and other opioid overdoses. In 2015, nearly 3,500 Pennsylvanians died from a drug overdose. Heroin and opioid overdoses are the leading cause of accidental death in Pennsylvania, killing more individuals each year than motor vehicle accidents.
The Wolf Administration holds the fight against heroin and prescription opioids as a top priority.
Some of the administration's other initiatives to fight the opioid epidemic include:
- Partnering with Adapt Pharma to distribute Narcan, a brand of naloxone, to 196 high schools across the commonwealth at no cost to the schools;
- Strengthening the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) so that doctors are required and able to check the system each time they prescribe opioids;
- Better preparing doctors and physicians for prescribing opioids and pain management drugs to improve medical school and continuing education curricula on opioids;
- Limiting the number of opioids a patient can receive at emergency rooms to a seven-day supply with no refills; and
- Establishing a voluntary directive to allow patients who do not want to be prescribed opioids the ability to deny or refuse the administration of these drugs.
For more information on the fight against opioid abuse in Pennsylvania, visit the Department of Health website at www.health.pa.gov. If you or someone you know is suffering from the disease of addiction, call 1-800-662-HELP or visit www.pa.gov/opioids for treatment options.
MEDIA CONTACT: April Hutcheson, 717-787-1783
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Health