Gov. Wolf calls $34M request for heroin treatment 'a start'

Written by The Associated Press | Jun 2, 2016 5:25 PM

Photo by PA Internet News Service

Governor Tom Wolf is pushing for $34 million to fight the opioid epidemic.

(Philadelphia) -- Gov. Tom Wolf says his $34 million budget request to address Pennsylvania's opioid abuse crisis is "a start" as the state begins to understand the scope and need of a statewide epidemic.

Wolf spoke briefly to reporters in Philadelphia on Thursday, saying, "we in Harrisburg are just waking up to the problem." If approved by the state legislature, Wolf says his request would help fund the creation of 50 outpatient treatment centers across the state that could serve up to 11,000 people a year.

But he called the funding "a down payment" that only begins to address the scope of heroin addiction.

The issue has become one of increasing concern in Pennsylvania. The state ranks among the top in the country for drug overdose deaths, largely driven by heroin use.

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