f you or someone you are with is experiencing a medical emergency, dial 9-1-1 immediately. 

Across the Commonwealth, communities of all shapes and sizes are being impacted by the growing opioid epidemic. More than 5,000 Pennsylvanians lost their lives to overdose in 2017, leaving friends and family behind to mourn the loss of their loved one. 

For individuals struggling with addiction, and for those who love and care for them, the road to recovery is full of challenges. But you don’t have to do it alone. Here are some resources available to help: 

Drug Addiction Resource Alliance (D.A.R.A.) 
A collection of resources in Montgomery County available to assist those who suspect someone they love may be struggling with substance abuse disorder. The organization’s goals are to provide support services to the afflicted and to provide education and support to their families and loved ones. 

Montgomery County Office of Drug and Alcohol
The Montgomery County Office of Drug and Alcohol works with qualified partners to provide a wide range of drug and alcohol services to county residents, including prevention, intervention and treatment. The site includes guidance on how to access treatment services in the county

Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs – Get Help Now 
This site offers a “benefits navigator” to help with insurance coverage, a “care provider search” to help find local treatment programs, and a “drug take-back” feature to help properly dispose of medications and keep them out of the wrong hands. 
Information is also available at 1-800-662-4357. 

Naloxone Standing Order for Public 
Naloxone is a medication that can reverse an overdose that is caused by an opioid drug (i.e. prescription pain medication or heroin). Act 139 of 2016 allows all first responders, including law enforcement, firefighters, EMS or other organizations, the ability to administer the medication to people experiencing an overdose. Family members and friends of people struggling with addiction may access this medication by obtaining a prescription from their family doctor or by using the standing order available at the link above. 

If you or someone you are with is experiencing a medical emergency, dial 9-1-1 immediately. 

Recent Laws to Address the Opioid Epidemic 
The General Assembly has adopted several laws designed to help prevent opioid and heroin-related overdoses and abuse. 

Prescription Drug Monitoring (Act 191 of 2014)
  • Creates the Achieving Better Care by Monitoring All Prescriptions (ABC-MAP) Program in the Pennsylvania Department of Health. This statewide prescription drug database gives prescribers and dispensers access to a patient's controlled substance prescription medication history, which will alert medical professionals to potential dangers for purposes of making treatment determinations, and aids regulatory and law enforcement agencies in the detection and prevention of fraud, drug abuse and the criminal diversion of controlled substances.
Preventing Drug Overdose Deaths (Act 139 of 2014)
  • Provides immunity from prosecution on minor drug-related offenses to someone who reports a drug overdose.
  • Makes the potentially life-saving opioid overdose reversal drug, naloxone, available to emergency services personnel, law enforcement and even family or friends of someone who is at risk of an opioid overdose.
Opioid Prescriptions (Act 122 of 2016)
  • Creates the Safe Emergency Prescribing Act to prohibit a health care practitioner from prescribing more than seven days of an opioid drug product in a hospital emergency department or urgent care facility, or who is in observation status in a hospital, unless certain medical conditions warrant more than a seven-day supply.
Reduce Prescription Drug Abuse (Act 123 of 2016)
  • Allows for the proper disposal and destruction of unused prescriptions and over-the-counter medications.
Prescription, Addiction Education (Act 124 of 2016)
  • Amends the Achieving Better Care by Monitoring All Prescriptions Program Act to require prescribers and dispensers to obtain education in pain management, identification of addiction, and the use of opioids, and require system queries when prescribing or dispensing an opioid benzodiazepine drug.
Prescriptions for Minors (Act 125 of 2016)
  • Prohibits prescribing an opioid to a minor, with certain limitations, for more than seven days and requires all prescribers to receive written consent from a minor’s parent or legal guardian in order to prescribe a medical treatment containing opioids as well as discuss the risks of addiction and overdose associated with the medication.
Opioid Curriculum (Act 126 of 2016)
  • Requires state licensing boards to create a safe opioid prescribing curriculum to be offered in medical schools and establishes a patient voluntary non-opioid directive.
Addiction Treatment Access (HR 590)
  • Urges the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs to establish and administer a task force on access to addiction treatment through health plans and other resources.
Certification of Recovery Houses (Act 59 of 2017)
  • Amends the Administrative Code to require the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs to license or certify drug and alcohol recovery houses which receive public funding.