In Valley visit, Josh Shapiro advocates more funding to battle drug addiction

Written by on November 30, 2021

In Valley visit, Josh Shapiro advocates more funding to battle drug addiction

By Tyler Pratt
November 30, 2021

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro was in Catasauqua Monday to promote funding for drug addiction. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Fifteen Pennsylvanians die every day from drug and opioid addiction.

It’s a number Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said Monday has risen over the pandemic. 

Shapiro, a Democrat who is also running for the governor’s office next year, was in Catasauqua to visit Pyramid Healthcare, a treatment center for women. Pennsylvania ranks among the top states impacted by the opioid crisis.

“The way we are going to come out of this is, yes, with strong, robust law enforcement response but also with available treatment options and related services to everyone including women across this commonwealth,” Shapiro said.

Shapiro said recovery programs especially are in desperate need of more funding. 

“You can’t arrest your way out of this crisis,” Shapiro said. “And you’ve got to reverse these trends right now which took the lives of 138 people in Lehigh County last year.” 

The state is slated to receive more than $1 billion in 2022 that Shapiro said could help pay for more resources. 

In July, he helped reach a $26 billion national settlement with three major pharmaceutical distributors and Johnson & Johnson.

Shapiro says 85% of the money will go directly to counties to spend as they see fit. The remainder will go to the state to funnel out to recovery programs. 

He was also joined by Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin, who welcomed the money, which may end up being tens of millions of dollars.

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