By Matthew Rink
Panel discusses epidemic at Sheriffs’ Association Conference in Erie.
Naloxone, the opioid overdose reversal drug, played a significant role in helping Pennsylvania to reduce by nearly 20 percent the number of accidental overdose deaths in 2018.
It’s a signal that efforts to curb the opioid epidemic are starting to work, but that much more needs to be done, said Thomas M. Maioli Jr., executive director of the Pennsylvania Sheriffs’ Association.
“I can’t back this up with statistics at this point in time because they’re really hard to obtain, but common sense will tell you with the increase in the amount of naloxone that’s out there, you’re going to see a decrease in the number of overdose deaths,” Maioli said. “That’s a big factor. The commonwealth has spent millions of dollars distributing naloxone to some sheriffs’ offices. They are the main distribution points for naloxone for other first responders and to civilians. That’s gone a long way in lowering the overdose rate over the last year or so.”