Kinsey: Opioid epidemic at critical stage

State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., joined Gov. Tom Wolf and House leaders today for a Capitol news conference to highlight details of a joint effort to combat the opioid and heroin crisis across Pennsylvania.

In the Rotunda, Democratic Leader Frank Dermody joined Speaker of the House Mike Turzai, Majority Leader David Reed and other House members to announce the completion of recommendations from Task Force and Advisory Committee on Opioid Prescription Drug Proliferation.

Kinsey was one of the lead speakers at the news conference.

“The opioid addiction demon comes in all sizes, shapes and goes by names such as morphine, codeine, oxycodone, methadone, fentanail and hydrocodone, just to name a few. With our bipartisan commitment and dedication to this issue – your father, mother, brother or sister and many thousands like them here in Pennsylvania will hopefully be saved from the opioid demons,” Kinsey said.

The Task Force and Advisory Committee on Opioid Prescription Drug Proliferation, which was created through the adoption of a resolution in 2014, made several legislative recommendations, including H.B. 1737 and H.R. 590, both of which were recently approved by the House. Also announced at the news conference was a special legislative session focused on the opioid crisis, which is expected to be convened in September.

“The public health consequences of opioid misuse are broad and worrisome, but I am confident that we can pull all the parties together and work to address addiction treatment,” said Kinsey, Democratic chairman of the Subcommittee on Drugs and Alcohol for the Human Services Committee.

Kinsey said joint policy committee hearings also will be held throughout the summer across the state.

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