Stack: Methadone Abuse Prevention Bill Gets Senate Approval
HARRISBURG, Oct. 16, 2012 – A measure that would help Pennsylvania combat the growing epidemic of methadone abuse received unanimous support from the state Senate today, according to state Sen. Mike Stack.
House Bill 140 creates a Methadone Death and Incident Review Team within the Pennsylvania Department of Health. This team would conduct reviews for all deaths where methadone was either a primary or secondary cause of death and would develop best practices to prevent future methadone-related deaths.
Stack authored its Senate companion bill, Senate Bill 895.
“Methadone use and abuse has exploded across this country over the last 15 years, and we are seeing the detrimental effect of this disturbing trend in communities across Pennsylvania,” said Stack (D-Phila.). “We need to take action to prevent methadone abuse. House Bill 140 will provide the means for examining the impact of methadone abuse and use that information to formulate practices that communities and the commonwealth can use to help curb this epidemic.”
Deaths from methadone overdose have increased six-fold between 1999 and 2009, and nearly one-third of prescription painkiller overdose deaths involve this drug, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Stack said the bill heads back to the House, which is expected to agree to the amendments made in the Senate before sending to the governor for approval.