HARRISBURG, Pa., May 16, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Physician General Dr. Rachel Levinemet with Dauphin County Coroner Graham Hetrick to discuss the Wolf Administration's prescribing guidelines for opioids and benzodiazepines and the opioid epidemic's devastating effects
"The combination of opioid painkillers with a benzodiazepine medications, like Xanax or Valium, can be deadly," said Dr. Levine. "With Governor Wolf's leadership, we are working with medical professionals to protect Pennsylvanians from the risk of overdose to save lives and make our communities safer. I thank Coroner Hetrick and his team for helping us spread this message."
Benzodiazepines, sometimes called "benzos," can be prescribed for treating aliments such as panic disorder, insomnia, and seizures. When used in conjunction with opioids, studies find that the chances for an accidental drug overdose increase.
Working with the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, the Department of Health has created a set of evidence-based, specialty-specific opioid prescribing guidelines to encourage judicious prescribing of the medication and reduce the number of opioids in distribution. The departments have completed the following guidelines:
"As coroner, I see far too often the deadly and devastating effects of the opioid epidemic," said Coroner Hetrick. "The disease of addiction takes lives and destroys families. With compassion, team work, and practicality, we aim to break the malicious grip addiction has on so many of our neighborhoods."
The Wolf Administration holds the fight against heroin and prescription opioids as a top priority. To continue the battle against the opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania, Governor Wolf included the following proposals in his 2017-18 budget:
Some of the administration's other initiatives to fight the opioid epidemic include:
The main function of the Dauphin County Coroner's office is to determine the cause and manner of death in cases where the death is determined to fall under coroner jurisdiction. The coroner's office investigators and staff treat each death with respect, dignity, and kindness.
If you or someone you know is suffering from the disease of addiction, call 1-800-662-HELP or visit www.pa.gov/opioids for treatment options. For more information on the fight against opioid abuse in Pennsylvania, visit the Department of Health website at www.health.pa.gov or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
MEDIA CONTACT: April Hutcheson, 717-787-1783 or [email protected]
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/pennsylvania-physician-general-and-dauphin-county-coroner-discuss-benzodiazepine-prescribing-guidelines-300458756.html
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Health
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