Butler Pennsylvania

Tom Wolf declared the state’s opioid addiction and overdose crisis a statewide disaster emergency-and it means nothing

Wolf said the declaration includes 13 “key initiatives,” which include enhancing coordination and data collection, speeding up and expanding access to treatment, changes to rules for EMTs responding to reported overdoses, and expanded roles for nurse practitioners who deal with addicts seeking recovery services.

The announcement comes as Pennsylvania is expected to report another year of increasing overdose deaths.

Pennsylvania reported 4,642 deaths from drug overdoses in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly 85 percent involved opioids.

On Wednesday Wolf said early numbers indicate that 5,260 Pennsylvanians died of drug overdoses in 2017.

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