Two more pieces proposed to fight opioid epidemic

It turns out the opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania may be even worse than the gloomy facts already reported.

According to a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health study, thousands of fatal overdoses caused by synthetic opioids have gone unreported nationwide during the past 17 years due to incomplete death certificates.

State Sen. Gene Yaw, a Loyalsock Township Republican who represents our region, wants the reporting to become more accurate. He is proposing standardized reporting from coroners in deaths resulting from overdoses.

How are the counties going to attack this problem if they don’t even uniformly report the deaths caused by it?

The answer is, not very well. It’s kind of phenomenal that there is not standardized reporting of the overdose deaths already.

One thing that is uniform is the fact that many of these opioid-related deaths start with over-use of prescription drugs. And that overuse can lead quickly to addiction, with 10 days of usage often being the tipping point.

Yaw is proposing a bill limiting the number of days for opioid prescriptions.

Think of the opioid battle like a military war. When our country is involved in a war, we want our leaders to put our soldiers in the best position to achieve their mission.

Our country is in a war against opioid addiction right now. But it is not being fought with the full force that comes with having all the battle pieces working in concert.

These two pieces of legislation would bring the effort closer to what it should be.