Pennsylvania releases plan for tackling substance use disorder

Pennsylvania releases plan for tackling substance use disorder

Pennsylvania’s Opioid Command Center recently released a strategic plan for helping those with substance use disorder.

The plan includes these goals: reducing the risk of substance misuse through education and limiting the availability of addictive substances; reducing the stigma of addiction; establishing sustainable methods to provide life-saving measures and increasing access to harm-reduction services; promoting access and reducing barriers; supporting professionals who treat substance use disorder; promoting supportive services for those in recovery; and implementing long-lasting policies and regulations to support these goals.

The Opioid Command Center examined data and consulted stakeholders while developing the plan. Feedback indicated that stimulants, polysubstances, and other substances have been commonly misused, so the center has been expanded its focus beyond opioids.

“Even amidst a national pandemic, the opioid crisis has continued, and in some ways become more of a challenge,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “Our commitment to addressing the opioid crisis remains steadfast, and to assist those with the disease of addiction. We want those affected to know that help is available, treatment works, and recovery is possible.”

In 2018, Gov. Tom Wolf signed a 90-day disaster declaration empowering state agencies and partners to battle the opioid epidemic. The declaration has been renewed 10 times.