According to Wolf, opioid-related substance use disorder is an all-inclusive epidemic. It affects people across the commonwealth giving no regard to wealth, location, race, political party or gender.
“This is a tragic problem that affects too many families, too many people throughout Pennsylvania, and it’s something we can do something about,” Wolf said.
In the 2016-17 state budget, the Wolf Administration successfully secured $20.4 million funded by the Department of Human Services (DHS) to establish 20 Centers of Excellence throughout Pennsylvania.
As two of the designated Centers of Excellence, the PCS 17th Street and York Psychiatric locations will address the opioid epidemic by providing engaged patient treatment focused on the person as a whole rather than solely the addiction or problem. According to the DHS, each Center of Excellence will work toward “the explicit goal of integrating behavioral health with primary care.”
“The idea is to create centers that will help victims make it through this health system,” Wolf said. “But there’s more.”
According to Wolf, by the end of August Pennsylvania will have implemented a completed “ABC MAP” program, which is a database that will allow licensed prescribers of opioids to track who is prescribing the same drug to which patients, ensuring the prescription system is as comprehensive as possible. Additionally, state and county prison systems will collaborate to create a seamless and “warm handoff” from prison to a clean, addiction-free life after prison.