Overdoses have become a massive problem in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Senate has just approved a bill that hopes to change that and improve the lives and well-being of addicts and their loved ones.
The new legislation approved by the Pennsylvania Senate will improve overdose tracking and response, according to a Pennsylvania Senate press release. Senate Bill 1152 requires law enforcement and emergency medical services agencies to report all overdose incidents within 72 hours. These reports will go to the statewide Overdose Information Network or other platforms approved by the Pennsylvania State Police that capture real-time overdose reporting. Any trends, numbers, and patterns associated with known and suspected overdoses. These will be made available to the general public in an online format, an annually-issued report.
According to the PA Senate press release, real-time data helps public officials to affirm an adequate supply of overdose reversal medications Naloxone-Hydrochloride is available. Substance use outreach and law enforcement investigations will take measures to interrupt sources of these fatal drugs. Utilization of an overdose mapping system, in which a central repository containing information about overdose incidents is established and maintained using data from an information technology platform, to make actionable decisions in as close to real-time as possible. Initially, the recommended spike thresholds will use relevant public health data, giving local leaders the option to adjust the local spike threshold to fit the local response plan needs.
The bill has been sent to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for consideration. If the House of Representatives approves this plan, overdose real-time response and tracking will help addicts, concerned parents, and the state and local government help battle the opioid crisis.