Panel Looks At Ways To Fight Opioid Epidemic In Philadelphia 

Kim Glovas
April 20, 2018 - 2:30 pm
Opioid panel discussion  at the Science History Institute.

Credit: Kim Glovas

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -Three large cities, including Philadelphia, talked about strategies to fight the opioid crisis Friday. 

The panel discussion was hosted by the Pew Charitable Trusts at the Science History Institute. 

Baltimore's Health Commissioner issued a blanket prescription for narcan to all residents in 2015. Since then, overdose deaths dropped. 

Staten Island focused on public education. OD's fell 15-percent in 2017.

Philadelphia's Health Commissioner Doctor Tom Farley says he's on board, and cites a three step approach.

"Getting doctors to prescribe less, so that fewer people become addicted in the first place," he says. "Making treatment more readily available, reducing the bureaucratic barriers to treatment. Trying to keep people alive move, greater distribution of naloxone."

Last year, 1,200 people died from opioid overdose in Philadelphia. 

According to the Centers fo Disease Control, Baltimore had the highest number of drug OD's in 2016, followed by Allegheny County, which includes Pittsburgh, and then Philadelphia.