Governor Wolf Backs Casey Bill to Combat Opioid Epidemic, Bolster Treatment November 02, 2017 National Issues, Press Release, Public Health, Substance Use Disorder Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today urged Congress to swiftly pass the “Combating the Opioid Epidemic Act” introduced by U.S. Senators Bob Casey and Ed Markey. This bill would provide approximately $4.5 billion per year for substance abuse programs to states over the next decade. This $45 billion proposal is similar to the Republican-backed component of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) of 2017.“In Pennsylvania, our efforts to save lives and get people into treatment are making a difference but there is still more work do to and the federal government must be a bigger partner,” Governor Wolf said. “With 13 overdose deaths each day, a sense of urgency is vital and will continue. Washington must do more to give states resources and tools to get people help. We know that treatment works, and this legislation would pump important resources into states like Pennsylvania battling this scourge. “In Pennsylvania, Governor Wolf has made expanding treatment a priority: the governor’s Medicaid Expansion has provided treatment to more than 125,000 individuals and the governor’s Centers of Excellence initiative has implemented more than 45 treatment centers across the commonwealth.“Too many families are being torn apart by this epidemic and it is causing real pain for law enforcement, health professionals and all of our communities,” Governor Wolf said. “I urge Congress and President Trump to enact the Casey-Markey bill into law, as these resources will have an immediate impact on this crisis and help save lives and families.”Learn more about Senator Casey’s “Combatting the Opioid Epidemic Act” here.In addition to expanding treatment programs in Pennsylvania, Governor Wolf has led a robust effort to combat the heroin and opioid epidemic by:Securing a $26.5 million federal grant to support prevention, treatment, and recovery services to battle the opioid epidemic. Securing $5 million in funding for 60,000 additional naloxone kits for first responders in all 67 counties of the state.Receiving a $5.7 million federal grant for a comprehensive medication-assisted treatment program in western Pennsylvania.Awarding four $1-million grants for the creation of community-specific medication-assisted treatment programs. Growing the number of drug take-back boxes to more than 700 and destroyed more than 301,300 pounds of drugs.Equipping law enforcement, first responders, and schools with the overdose-reversing antidote naloxone, reversing nearly 4,000 heroin and opioid overdoses since 2014.Issuing a standing order — a prescription written for the general public, rather than specifically for an individual — for overdose-reversing antidote naloxone.Strengthening the use of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) , which enables health care providers to safely prescribe controlled substances to their patients. 90,000 physicians have conducted more than 1 million searches since the program became operational in 2016.Improving prescribing guidelines for the safe and effective use of opioids, including in sports medicine, for minors, and Pennsylvanians on Medicaid, as well as improved education for medical professionals on opioid prescribing.Launching a 24/7 helpline, 1-800-662-HELP, for those who need immediate assistance with drug and alcohol problems. More than 15,000 Pennsylvanians have contacted the statewide helpline for assistance. SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
AMERICAN Sloane Stephens won a final-set tie-break to beat Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova and reach her first US Open semi-final.The 24-year-old, ranked 83rd as she makes her way back from injury, won 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7-4) in New York.Stephens played superbly to come back from 3-1 down in the final set, converting her first match point with a brilliant backhand.She will face compatriot Venus Williams or Petra Kvitova in the last four.With Madison Keys and Coco Vandeweghe also through to the last eight, there is the prospect of an all-American semi-final line-up.It is four years since Stephens made the Australian Open semi-finals, but her ranking had plummeted to 957th following an 11-month break with a foot injury.Only two months later she is through to a Grand Slam semi-final and projected to break back into the world’s top 40, at least.“Oh man, I’m getting teary-eyed,” said Stephens. “I think my coach is probably crying.“This is just incredible. When I started my comeback at Wimbledon I could never have dreamed of this happening.“Making the semi-final of my home Slam, it’s indescribable.”Stephens got the 24 000 spectators on Arthur Ashe Stadium for the day session animated as though it was a night match with a dramatic win.She looked to have learnt from Maria Sharapova’s defeat by Sevastaova in the previous round as she reined in her power and, after a timid opening service game, began to move forward whenever possible.Sixteen trips to the net and two breaks of serve helped Stephens to the first set, and Sevastova’s hopes appeared further damaged when she had a medical timeout for attention to her leg.However, the Latvian resumed in more measured fashion, cutting her errors from 18 in the opening set to six as she clinched the second.Stephens was now struggling on serve, making less than 50% of first serves, and a woeful smash seemed to signal the end as she fell 3-1 behind.