Davis applauds disaster emergency declaration on the heroin and opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania
HARRISBURG, Jan. 10 – State Rep. Tina Davis, D-Bucks, released the following statement in support of today’s announcement by Gov. Tom Wolf declaring Pennsylvania’s heroin and opioid addiction crisis a statewide disaster emergency:
“Today’s declaration appropriately labels Pennsylvania’s heroin and opioid epidemic what it is: a disaster. I strongly support the governor’s decision to put people first by declaring this epidemic a statewide disaster emergency. This declaration will speed up and expand access to treatment, and improve tools for families, first responders and others in order to prevent the more than 3,500 deaths statewide from drug overdose each year.
“As representatives, we see first-hand the impact this epidemic is having on our communities and know that we need to use every resource available to address this emergency. That is why I advocated for Senate Bill 446, improving the quality of recovery houses, and other legislation to address this crisis. Today’s declaration will reinforce this legislation and the important ongoing work being done throughout the commonwealth by first responders, local governments, health care providers, recovery organizations and others.”
The declaration frees up resources and allows Pennsylvania officials to temporarily override any rules or regulations they perceive as hampering the state’s ability to address the epidemic. The declaration makes Pennsylvania the eighth state to take such a step amid a public health scourge that has devastated communities and led to a spike in overdose deaths.