ENOLA, Pa., Dec. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine today joined a high school nurse at a CVS Pharmacy 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.
"We want everyone to understand how easy it is to get naloxone from their local pharmacy under my standing order prescription," said Dr. Levine. "The disease of addiction has become an epidemic in our state, and having naloxone on hand can save a life. In Pennsylvania, we have seen first responders save more than 2,100 people using naloxone and want the public to understand that they too can use this life-saving drug."
East Pennsboro High School nurse Susan Blasco joined Dr. Levine for the event. 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 204 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