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​Pitt Pharmacy School Establishes PA Heroin Overdose Technical Assistance Center, Expands OverdoseFreePA.org

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Courtney Caprara
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capraracl@upmc.edu

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3/9/2016

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PITTSBURGH, March 9, 2016 – Experts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy have established the Pennsylvania Heroin Overdose Prevention Technical Assistance Center as a resource to help counties develop, implement and sustain community-based initiatives for reducing overdose incidents throughout the commonwealth.
 
The Center received initial funding of almost $248,000 from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) and is based at the pharmacy school’s Program Evaluation and Research Unit (PERU), which developed in 2014 OverdoseFreePA.org to provide information about reducing the number of overdoses and overdose-associated deaths in 20 counties.
 
PERU director Janice Pringle, Ph.D., associate professor of pharmacy at Pitt says expansion of the website will reach all of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. “We also tailor strategic plans to help reduce overdose and overdose deaths in specific regions, and assist when the plans are implemented,” she added.
 
The Center also will assist PCCD in developing overdose prevention funding initiatives. There were 349 deaths last year in Allegheny County due to overdoses, according to OverdoseFreePa.org.
 
“This funding represents the next step in PCCD’s efforts to combat the heroin crisis in our Commonwealth,” said PCCD Chairman Josh Shapiro. “Through the assistance of the University of Pittsburgh, we will be helping leaders in communities throughout Pennsylvania develop strategic plans to prevent overdose deaths, educate the public about the dangers of opioids and provide information about the disease of addiction.”
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