Laughlin and Williams to introduce drug overdose treatment

Harrisburg – Senators Dan Laughlin (R-49) and Anthony Williams (D-8) to help individuals regain control of their lives after drug overdoses given life-prolonging drugs announced the introduction of legislation aimed at

“The availability of life-sustaining drugs has reduced mortality, but it is not a cure and does little to address an individual’s underlying substance use disorder,” Laughlin said. “Treatment enables individuals to regain their hopes, dreams, goals, and most importantly, their lives.”

“Leaving this disorder untreated will lead to further overdose situations and the need for more life-sustaining drugs,” Williams said. “It’s not a way of life. We need to stand up and address the underlying mental health issues that are claiming the lives and freedoms of too many people.”

Between January 1, 2018, and October 31, 2022, 77,714 doses of naloxone (a drug that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose) were administered by emergency medical workers, according to Pennsylvania Open Data. From January 1, 2018, to February 24, 2023, there were 49,398 emergency department visits due to opioid overdoses. Even before the pandemic, Pennsylvania had one of the highest drug overdose death rates in the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the death rate remains higher than other states. In 2021, the most recent year of CDC data, our Commonwealth hit a record high of 5,449 overdose deaths.

Substance use disorders (SUDs) are treatable mental health conditions that affect a person’s brain and behavior and lead to uncontrolled use of substances, including legal and illegal drugs, alcohol, and drugs.

People who suffer from SUD harm themselves and others because they lack the ability to make sound decisions, manage their own personal affairs, and attend to their own basic needs. affects Unfortunately, if the disorder is left untreated, all too often these people resort to criminal activity and end up in prison or worse.

We aim to create an involuntary commitment process for people who have been given life-prolonging drugs to combat a drug overdose and have been taken to hospital for evaluation. This process is similar to the 302 commitment process set forth in the Pennsylvania Mental Health Code, which calls for an involuntary commitment for urgent evaluation and treatment of people who endanger themselves or others with mental illness.

The key to progress for SUD patients is recovery. However, without treatment, there is no recovery.

For more state-related news and information, voters should visit Mr. Laughlin’s website at or follow @senatorLaughlin on Facebook and Twitter.

Contact: David Kozak 717-787-8927

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