Wolf Administration Officials Visit York Hospital to Discuss How a “Warm Handoff” from Opioid Overdose into Addiction Treatment is Crucial for Recovery

first_imgWolf Administration Officials Visit York Hospital to Discuss How a “Warm Handoff” from Opioid Overdose into Addiction Treatment is Crucial for Recovery Press Release,  Public Health,  Public Safety,  Substance Use Disorder York, PA – Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine and Acting Secretary of Drug and Alcohol Programs Jennifer Smith today discussed Governor Wolf’s efforts to battle the opioid epidemic during a visit to WellSpan York Hospital. The event highlighted the importance of the “warm handoff” protocol in getting opioid overdose survivors from the emergency room directly into treatment for addiction.“Governor Wolf and his entire administration know that people who suffer from the disease of addiction deserve the opportunity to recover from their medical condition,” said Dr. Levine. “A warm handoff into drug treatment after an overdose is an essential step on the road to recovery from addiction. I applaud WellSpan York Hospital for creating a warm handoff program that saves lives in the local community.”The warm handoff protocol was developed by the departments of Health and Drug and Alcohol Programs in conjunction with the Pennsylvania College of Emergency Physicians. The procedure is recommended for use by emergency room physicians and other health care professionals caring for overdose patients.“We want to get people who have suffered overdoses directly into treatment,” said Acting Secretary Smith. “We know that the best time to talk about treatment to those who suffer from substance use disorders is after an overdose or other traumatic incident.”The Wolf Administration released warm handoff guidance to emergency room doctors and health care professionals throughout the commonwealth to encourage its use when helping those suffering from substance use disorder. The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs requires county drug and alcohol agencies to set up procedures to facilitate the warm handoff process.Governor Wolf holds the fight against heroin and prescription opioids as a top priority.  To continue the battle against the opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania, Governor Wolf included the following proposals in his 2017-18 budget:Expanding access to life-saving naloxone by providing $10 million through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency to first responders and law enforcement across the state;Maximizing federal Cures Act funding, which includes $26.5 million in each of the next two years for Pennsylvania, to expand access to treatment services, particularly for individuals who are uninsured or underinsured; andProviding $3.4 million to expand specialty drug courts to expand treatment strategies that divert offenders into more meaningful treatment and recovery.Some of the administration’s other initiatives to fight the opioid epidemic include:Strengthening the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) so that doctors are required and able to check the system each time they prescribe opioids;Forming new prescribing guidelines to help doctors, including geriatricians, who provide opioid prescriptions to their patients;Educating and encouraging seniors to properly use, store and dispose of unused prescription medications through Drug Take-Back initiatives;Increasing the availability of naloxone;Establishing a new law limiting the amount of opioids that can be prescribed to a minor to seven days; andDesignating 45 Centers of Excellence, central hubs that provide navigators to assist those with opioid use disorders with behavioral and physical health care, along with medication-assisted treatment, as needed.If you or someone you know is suffering from the disease of addiction, call 1-800-662-HELP or visit www.pa.gov/opioids for treatment options. March 28, 2017center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more