Heffley named to drug recovery study task force
Reps. Doyle Heffley, R-Carbon, and Todd Polinchock, R-Bucks, have been appointed by House Speaker Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny, to serve as members of a legislative task force that will conduct a study on “warm handoff to treatment” for individuals in Pennsylvania struggling with drug addiction.
The task force was created by House Resolution 216, sponsored by Polinchock, which was unanimously adopted in June. The task force will be assisted in its review by an advisory committee established by the Joint State Government Commission which will present a report on its findings and recommendations to the House of Representatives within 18 months.
“Our volunteer emergency services personnel know how common it is to give the life-saving drug Narcan to the same individuals repeatedly,” Polinchock said. “We need to make it easier to get those individuals to the next step in treatment. I’m honored to join Rep. Heffley in opening the road to complete recovery.”
Heffley is the prime sponsor of House Bill 424, which would establish a statewide “warm handoff” program to ensure drug overdose survivors receive treatment after they are released from the hospital.
“While there have been statewide efforts to strengthen the warm handoff of overdose survivors to treatment, my legislation would provide much stronger tools to forge the next link in the continuum of care for people struggling with a life-threatening substance abuse disorder,” said Heffley. “I applaud Rep. Polinchock for creating the task force and look forward to exploring our options for establishing an effective warm handoff program in Pennsylvania and saving lives.”
The advisory committee created by the resolution will consist of physicians, hospital administrators, EMS company representatives, law enforcement officials and drug treatment experts. They will examine methods of collecting useful data, identify funding sources, and most importantly, find ways to stabilize those suffering from a drug addiction and getting them into treatment.
Joining Heffley and Polinchock as members of the bipartisan task force are Reps. Bridget Kosierowski (D-Lackawanna) and Joe Hohenstein (D-Philadelphia).