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Wolf says early stats point to drop in 2018 overdose deaths

May 22, 2019
Gov. Tom Wolf, center, listens to trainer Elvis Rosado, right, of Philadelphia-based Prevention Point on how to administer a nasal spray that reverses an opioid overdose during a demonstration in Wolf's Capitol offices, Wednesday, May 22, 2019, in Harrisburg, Pa. Looking on is Paul Tufano, CEO of AmeriHealth Caritas, a Medicaid insurer that sponsors training. (AP Photo/Marc Levy)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Gov. Tom Wolf says preliminary statistics are pointing to a decrease in overdose deaths in Pennsylvania last year, as his administration suggests the opioid crisis might be starting to wane in some parts of the state.

Wolf spoke Wednesday as he participated in a training session on how to administer a nasal spray that reverses an opioid overdose.

Wolf says physicians are issuing fewer opioid prescriptions and doctor-shopping is over, thanks to a 2016 law that requires prescribers to check a state database before issuing an opioid prescription to a new patient.

Wolf’s administration says more robust health care outreach and law enforcement programs are paying dividends. It’s also made the anti-overdose medication naloxone regularly available at most pharmacies in Pennsylvania, at little or no cost for those with insurance.

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