The County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP) today noted its support for the Governor’s declaration of Pennsylvania’s heroin and opioid addiction crisis as a statewide disaster emergency.
CCAP President and Lancaster County Commissioner Dennis Stuckey stated, “The staggering number of drug overdose deaths in Pennsylvania requires all of the dedication and resources our leaders and our communities can muster. Counties have a critical role in addressing this epidemic and have made it one of their chosen priorities for 2018. We look forward to working with the General Assembly and administration on meaningful reforms that serve our residents and families, as well as guide the future health of our communities.”
CCAP Human Services Committee Chair and Dauphin County Commissioner George Hartwick explained, “This downward spiraling trend in substance abuse has become a major cost driver across state and county budgets. Impacts are felt in the courts, law enforcement, emergency rooms and publicly funded human services programs. As providers of drug and alcohol prevention and treatment programs, counties are seeing firsthand the impact of the ever-increasing opioid epidemic, which touches lives from all backgrounds in our communities.”
CCAP noted that enhanced collaboration among state and local authorities to develop and implement a comprehensive approach to addressing the opioid and heroin epidemic is critical to the success of any efforts. Counties also will focus on integrated planning at the local level with all stakeholders involved (law enforcement, emergency and medical personnel, first responders, treatment staff and community leaders), coupled with additional resources to expand local capacity, so Pennsylvania can begin to reverse the epidemic.
The County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP) is the voice of county government; a statewide nonprofit, nonpartisan association representing all 67 counties in Pennsylvania. CCAP members include county commissioners, council members, county executives, administrators, chief clerks and solicitors.
County governments are responsible for a wide variety of critical issues, including provision of human services (i.e., mental health, intellectual disabilities, juvenile justice, children and youth, long-term care, drug and alcohol services, housing) to people in need in our communities. In addition, counties are responsible for emergency management and 911 services, administration of the courts and corrections system, elections, maintenance of county bridges, and the county property assessment rolls, and are also involved in environmental and land use planning, protection of open space and community and economic development.
CCAP strengthens the counties’ abilities to govern their own affairs and improve the well-being and quality of life for every Pennsylvania resident. It advocates for favorable state and federal legislation, programs and policies on behalf of counties. CCAP is committed to service excellence through education, information, insurance, technology and other programs that support effective county government. Founded in 1886, CCAP is an affiliate of the National Association of Counties. For more information about Pennsylvania counties and CCAP, log on to www.pacounties.org and visit CCAP’s Twitter page @PACountiesGR.
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