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Opioid Epidemic

The prescription opioid and heroin overdose epidemic is the worst public health crisis in Pennsylvania. It affects Pennsylvanians across the state, from big cities to rural communities. The Wolf Administration is taking strides to combat this disease and help those affected by it. This page is a brief overview of what's being done.

Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

To help prevent prescription drug abuse and protect the health and safety of our community, Pennsylvania's Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PA PDMP) collects information on all filled prescriptions for controlled substances. This information helps healthcare providers safely prescribe controlled substances and helps patients get the treatment they need.

Prescription Naloxone Standing Order

Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine has signed updated standing order prescriptions for naloxone. The updated standing orders include the 2mg dose auto-injector which has recently become available. You can find a link to the updated standing orders below. Learn more about naloxone.

Warm Hand-Off

Warm hand-off is an approach where a health provider does a face-to-face introduction to a substance abuse specialist and makes a direct referral into substance abuse treatment. Similar to a heart attack patient who, once stable in the emergency department, would receive a facilitated referral to a cardiologist, opioid use disorder patients should receive similar treatment.

Prescribing Guidelines

Working with the Department of Health, we developed and adopted prescribing guidelines for 11 medical specialties on the safe and effective use of opioids in the treatment of pain.