Government at Work –
May 22, 2019 – In Pennsylvania, the opioid epidemic has hit hard in recent years, with 5,456 drug-related overdose deaths reported by coroners and medical examiners for 2017 — a rate of 42 deaths per 100,000 people. Government officials have taken steps to try to curb the overdoses, including establishing a help hotline for addicts and their family members and implementing a standing order last year that allows pharmacies to dispense Narcan without requiring a medical prescription.
According to Wolf, since the standing order was established, the survival rate for opioid users receiving Narcan has risen to approximately 85 percent. A prescription monitoring program implemented in August 2016 led to a drop in addicts “doctor shopping,” a term that refers to when addicts obtain prescriptions from multiple doctors and pharmacies to gain access to opioids.