HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania made a significant advancement in its fight against the opioid crisis this week when the Overdose Mapping Act became law, said Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-33).
“The opioid crisis takes lives every single day and Pennsylvania has been fighting it blind for a long time,” Mastriano said. “This law will give emergency responders the foresight they need to act quickly and prevent more deaths.”
Act 158, introduced by Mastriano earlier this year, requires first responders – including law enforcement and emergency medical services – to report overdoses into an electronic statewide system that will be developed and maintained in consultation with the Department of Health.
Standardizing use of a statewide system will help local officials identify emerging trends, mobilize an emergency response and alert law enforcement and EMS to the existence of fentanyl-laced drugs in a particular region.
In 2021 alone, the CDC said more than 100,000 people died nationwide from fentanyl and opioid overdoses, a 15% increase over the year before. Pennsylvania ranks third nationwide for overdose fatalities.
“Overdose mapping will be a game changer for our communities, none of which have been untouched by this epidemic,” Mastriano said. “And it’s certainly not the end of what we, as lawmakers, can do to support our first responders on the front lines trying to save lives every day.”
CONTACT: Doug Zubeck