Treatment, “a continuing medical education course … that addresses the warm handoff process,” he said.
Levin explained that the warm handoff technique will be invaluable in reducing overdoses. “When a person has a heart attack, they aren’t given a card and released,” she said. “They’re seen by a cardiologist and receive extended treatment. With addiction, we want the same thing: a very robust effort to get the person to the substance abuse treatment they need.”
The funds the state receives through the 21st Century Cures Grant will help support and advance Pennsylvania’s efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, but Levine made it clear that the battle is ongoing and emphasized that education will be key in overcoming addiction.
Citing the Surgeon General’s report, Facing Addiction in America, she stated that the stigma associated with addiction must be abandoned. “It’s very important to understand that addiction is a medical condition; this is a disease, not a moral failing,” she said. “We must get past the stigma that this is somehow a moral failing.”