Substance use disorders impact Philadelphia’s residents, families, and communities everyday. 1,200 people died from overdoses in the City in 2017 - an unprecedented statistic up more than 150% in just five years. Philadelphia is on the frontline of the opioid crisis, with the highest per capita death rate from accidental overdoses of any major metropolitan country in 2017. National media held up the Kensington encampments as a case study of the effects opioids and substance abuse can have on individuals, families, neighborhoods, and cities. The statistics are harrowing, but there are proven ways to help those struggling and to establish Philadelphia as a pioneer in recovery policies that work. Philadelphia can become an example how a city pulled together and responded to a crisis.
Establish Safe Use Mobile Response Units: Philadelphians are in the midst of crisis, and the City must respond accordingly. By creating mobile "safe use" sites, we can provide life saving services and focus on harm reduction in this time of crisis. Mobile units also address concerns of migrating needs and of neighborhood concerns of the negative impact of a permanent site or structure.
Develop Clear and Measurable Standards of Care: All persons, regardless of resources, deserves access to quality, effective recovery programs and institutions. Philadelphia can create standards of care for all City-funded recovery treatment facilities - including requiring facilities to offer family treatment programs to combat the intergenerational impact of substance use disorders. These standards would apply to all facilities and programs receiving City funding as well as private entities contracting within Philadelphia.
Fund the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS): DBHIDS is the City's primary method of outreach for issues related to opioids and substance use disorders; however, DBHIDS receives 99% of its funding from state and federal sources. As a City, we need to be committed to helping the departments and institutions which serve our most vulnerable residents. To do so, we must devote the necessary resources, including finances, to this vital department.
Collaborate with State and Federal Leaders: Philadelphia is not alone in our efforts in control the opioid crisis. Individuals across Pennsylvania and the nation are being actively impacted by substance use; as such, we are responsible for working with state and federal leaders and institutions to develop services that work and find the much needed resources to help those affected.
One of Eryn's leading motivations to run for Philadelphia City Council At-Large is her experience with loved ones' substance use disorders and recoveries. She is privileged to have had access to care and familial support, and she believes all Philadelphians deserve access to holistic, quality recovery care. Her personal motivation and her professional track record make her both willing and able to provide necessary, lifesaving services to individuals and families dealing with substance use disorders.