November 30, 2018
Michael Bloomberg’s philanthropy organization announced Friday it will donate $50 million to states fighting the opioid crisis, and Pennsylvania will receive the first $10 million.
Gov. Tom Wolf, who spent Friday with Bloomberg in Washington and Philadelphia, told the Washington Post he expects the money will go toward efforts that are already underway across the state, like distribution of naloxone, or expansion of the state’s network of centers intended to help opioid users access treatment.
In Philly with @MikeBloomberg this afternoon to discuss how we can tackle PA's heroin & opioid crisis.— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) November 30, 2018
The Bridge Way School is the city's first recovery high school. Proud of the work they're doing to help students achieve their academic goals on their recovery journey. pic.twitter.com/p628a4xKX9
Great to be spending the day with @MikeBloomberg today to talk about how we can fight the opioid epidemic.— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) November 30, 2018
This morning, we're at #BloombergHealthSummit with @BloombergDotOrg, @AmericanHealth, & @JohnsHopkinsSPH. Proud to serve as a panelist & discuss progress we've made in PA. pic.twitter.com/Ta6tMv765z
In October 2017, President Trump declared the opioid epidemic a national emergency. Trump said at the time that addressing the epidemic would require “all of our effort.”
Pennsylvania's 2015 opioid-related death rate had increased by 103 percent compared to 1999, rising from 9.9 deaths to 20.12 deaths per 100,000 people.
“Pennsylvania has been one of the states hardest hit by the opioid epidemic, but Gov. Wolf has been a real leader on the issue,” Bloomberg said Friday. “We’ll work to help him tackle opioids from every angle, and save more lives around the state.”
Just this week, new reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed a drop in life expectancy in the United States, thanks in part to rising overdose rates.
The CDC data revealed the rate of drug overdoses jumped 9.6 percent between 2016 and 2017, with 70,237 deaths last year. The highest rates of drug overdose-related deaths were concentrated in only a few states, including Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and the District of Columbia.