Fighting the Opioid Epidemic Initiative

With thirteen Pennsylvanians dying every day due to opioids, the epidemic has become the leading cause of death for people under the age of 50. And with 76 million Americans affected, chronic pain has become one of the nation’s toughest health issues. Despite many steps being taken at the local, state and federal levels, the crisis continues to worsen. Untreated opioid addiction is exacerbating many of our local systems, including our courts, county prisons, child welfare system and emergency medical services. Until stronger solutions are developed and more consistent action is taken across health providers and community agencies, our region will continue to deal with these grim outcomes one death at a time.

In the fall of 2016, Partnership for Better Health and the Cumberland-Perry County Drug & Alcohol Commission convened a Task Force on Opiate Prescribing. Our task force is comprised of leaders from Geisinger—Holy Spirit, UPMC Pinnacle, the Penn State Hershey PRO Wellness Center, Sadler Health Center, the Pennsylvania Medical Society, the Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers and the Pennsylvania Dental Association, as well as independent physicians.

Together, we are piloting a robust communications campaign in Cumberland and Perry Counties to engage health professionals and community partners in increasing the use of best practices in opioid abuse prevention, safe prescribing and treatment referrals. By expanding the capacity of many organizations to respond effectively to opioid use disorders, the initiative aims to improve the likelihood that local residents struggling with addiction access needed services.

Addiction Resources & Partners

Cumberland-Perry Drug & Alcohol Commission

Commonwealth Prevention Alliance’s Stop Opiate Abuse Campaign

Overdose-Free PA: Be Informed

PAMED’s Opioid Abuse Resource Center

South Central PA Opioid Awareness Coalition

Media Resources



Opioid Resource Guide