Schlossberg fatality review team language headed to governor

HARRISBURG, Oct. 26 – Language introduced by Rep. Mike Schlossberg that would allow counties to create local overdose or suicide fatality review teams to help prevent future overdose deaths and suicides passed the state Senate and House today and is on its way to the governor.

“Overdose fatality review teams present a promising path to reducing drug-related deaths within our communities by examining and understanding the circumstances surrounding a fatal overdose. Specifically, these multidisciplinary teams aim to prevent future overdose deaths by identifying patterns, improving data accuracy, enhancing local service coordination, and providing recommendations to inform policies and programs,” said Schlossberg, D-Lehigh.

Schlossberg said counties across Pennsylvania could establish overdose or suicide fatality review teams like Pennsylvania’s Methadone Death and Incident Review Team, that would bring together representatives from various public safety, public health and social services agencies to identify system gaps and opportunities to prevent future overdose or suicide deaths.

The Lehigh Valley lawmaker said the overdose crisis is not stagnant, instead it is rapidly shifting and the need for timely, in-depth data and actionable recommendations has become increasingly vital.

The language from Schlossberg’s bill (H.B. 1308) was amended by the Senate into legislation (H.B. 220) that would prohibit drug and alcohol treatment facilities from denying treatment solely based on a negative drug test.