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‘The worst overdose crisis in the history of humanity:’ Top PA drug and alcohol official addresses epidemic

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HARRISBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania's Drug and Alcohol Programs Department Secretary Gary Tennis gave a briefing of the state's efforts to fight the drug epidemic that he's calling the worst overdose crisis in the history of humanity.

Tennis says in 2014, seven people died each day from Opioid overdoses. He says the state's numbers are on track to get worse.

Officials blame "over-prescription" of pain medication and lack of funding for resources and treatments. Tennis is also making a call for people to safely dispose of any unneeded medicine in their homes.

"Make sure you have no abusable drugs in your medicine cabinet," he said. "If you were prescribed Opioids or Benzodiazepines, or any other of the abusable drugs that somebody can take and abuse... when you're done with them, when you don't need them anymore. If they are there, they are liable to be taken, particularly our young people can be hurt with them."

Tennis says Governor Tom Wolf's proposed 2016-17 budget provides resources to fight the overdose epidemic in Pennsylvania.