Community Issues

PA Announces Second Giveaway of Opioid-Reversal Drug

Naloxone giveaway comes at the same time state reports overdose deaths are down.

Pennsylvania will offer a second round of free Naloxone kits in September, part of the effort to reduce the number of opioid overdoses in the state.

Last December the state gave away 5,000 free kits in its first ever mass distribution of the drug, which counteracts the effects of opioids. "This is a really big deal," said Governor Tom Wolf in announcing the new distribution, which will be held on September 18 and 25, with additional details to be announced in the coming weeks.

Governor Wolf, Health Secretary Rachel Levine and others announce opioid OD rate in PA is down sharply.

The state's opioid task force is on a mission to make Naloxone (also known by the brand name, Narcan) available to anyone who needs it, from families with an opioid addict in the house, to the users themselves. It's why Pennsylvania also has what's called a "standing order" for Naloxone, which means that anyone can buy it in any pharmacy without a prescription.

While the governor isn't willing to give all the credit to the easy availability of Naloxone, he announced Drug Enforcment Administration statistics which show there was an 18% drop in overdose deaths in Pennsylvania from 2017 to 2018:

The governor also announced two additional measures to support the opioid battle:

  • Creation of a helpline, KinConnector, for families in kinship care situations , including grandparents raising their grandchildren because of the opioid crisis. The KinConnector helpline can help kinship care families access local, state, and federal resources. The hotline number is: 1-866-KIN-2111 (1-866-546-2111).
  • Federal funding through Pennsylvania's Substance Use Disorder Loan Repayment Program . The program helps repay education loans for health care workers who provide medical and behavioral health care and treatment for addiction in areas where there is high opioid use and not enough doctors and other health care staff.

"Allocating this funding takes us one step closer to ensuring all those suffering from substance use disorder are receiving quality care," said Health Secretary Rachel Levine.

"While today is a great day to celebrate, it's also a great day to commit ourselves to do more to address this epidemic that's destroying so many lives and so many families," said Gov. Wolf.

"We are not done as long as there's one overdose." - Gov. Tom Wolf

(Naloxone image source:

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