READING, Pa., Dec. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine today joined Topton Ambulance Chief of Emergency Medical Services Tyler Bard at the Walgreens in Reading to demonstrate how to fill prescriptions for naloxone, a life-saving opioid overdose reversal drug which is readily available to anyone in the commonwealth due to the standing order signed by Dr. Levine.
"First responders in Pennsylvania have saved more than 2,100 people using naloxone, and we want residents to understand how they, too, can obtain and use this life-saving drug," said Dr. Levine. "If you use my standing order to get naloxone from your local pharmacy and take the online training on how to administer it, you can save the life of a loved one or a member of your community experiencing an overdose."
Naloxone rapidly reverses heroin and other opioid overdoses. In 2015, nearly 3,500 Pennsylvanians died from a drug overdose. Heroin and opioid overdose 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 207 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.
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. For more information on the fight against opioid abuse in Pennsylvania, visit the Department of Health website at www.health.pa.gov.
MEDIA CONTACT: April Hutcheson, 717-787-1783
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Health