HARRISBURG, Pa. (The Heart Sq.) — The excessive variety of drug overdose deaths in Pennsylvania have been rising, however state companies present knowledge on them on a voluntary foundation solely. Which may change with a brand new invoice requiring legislation enforcement and emergency responders to replace the state’s map of overdoses rapidly.
SB1152 would require including info on drug overdoses to a mapping system inside 24 hours by first responders. At present, the Pennsylvania State Police and a few state companies already achieve this on a voluntary foundation, however the info is incomplete and never at all times well timed.
“The opioid disaster continues to have a stranglehold in communities throughout our Commonwealth. COVID-19 lockdowns and the fallout that ensued have exacerbated the disaster,” Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Chambersburg, and sponsor of invoice, mentioned in a legislative memo. “In 2020, overdose deaths elevated by 14% in comparison with 2019 and 5,000 lives had been tragically misplaced.”
Overdose deaths had been as little as 2,700 in Pennsylvania in 2014, then jumped as much as 5,400 in 2017 earlier than the pandemic, in accordance with the CDC.
“Following discussions with stakeholders and legislation enforcement, I found that PA was lagging behind different neighboring states on the subject of actual time monitoring of overdose incidents,” Mastriano’s memo says.
The state police may undertake a federal mapping system known as ODMAP, a Pennsylvania system known as ODIN, or one other system as chosen by the state police, in accordance with the proposed laws. They might even be required to difficulty an annual report on overdose tendencies and patterns to county and native officers, together with the general public.
Mastriano argued an up-to-date map would make it simpler for legislation enforcement and emergency responders to restrict overdoses.
“Precisely mapping overdoses inside 24 hours of the incident will assist save lives. County and native officers can have entry to the real-time overdose knowledge and might develop response plans when there’s an overdose spike within the space,” Mastriano mentioned. “A response plan may contain the coordination of public well being, emergency administration, first responders, group organizations, and well being care suppliers with the aim of stopping and decreasing the hurt brought on by overdose spikes.”
ODMAP is free to state companies to make use of, and the invoice encourages the state police to pursue federal funds for any start-up or persevering with prices.