Harm Reduction introduced as a way fight overdose deaths

Written by Radio Pennsylvania | Apr 29, 2018 8:35 AM

(Harrisburg) -- Those in the fight against the opioid epidemic rallied at the State Capitol this past week calling for more to be done to help Pennsylvania residents with opioid addictions. 

While the ultimate solution is to get Pennsylvanians with opioid addictions into treatment, University of Pennsylvania professor of medicine Dr. Brian Work says something needs to be done now to stem the tide of overdose deaths in PA. 

"The short-term, immediate solution is harm reduction.  Harm reduction is when you address the negative consequences of a behavior without necessarily stopping the behavior.  We can't get all drug users into treatment right now, so what do we do, we use harm reduction,"  he said.

Work says the opioid overdose reversal drug Narcan is one such harm reduction measure.

He adds that Narcan should be put into the hands of as many PA residents as possible so they can help save an overdose victim should they encounter one.

There were more than 5,000 overdose deaths in the state last year. 

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