Johnstown, PA – Today, Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) Secretary Jen Smith joined the Cambria County Drug and Alcohol Program, county officials, and stakeholders for a roundtable discussion on local efforts to manage the addiction crisis.
“The co-occurring impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the addiction crisis have been deeply felt in Pennsylvania and signal a need to address how we are combatting this disease,” said DDAP Secretary Jen Smith. “We must continue to work together with the Cambria County Drug and Alcohol Program, and partners like them, across the commonwealth to ensure we are impacting the lives of those struggling with substance use disorder in a positive way.”
The roundtable is part of DDAP’s Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Listening Tour designed to meet with local leaders, SUD treatment providers, members of the recovery community, and other stakeholders to discuss SUD trends at the local level. This tour is in response to the increase in overdose deaths and polysubstance use throughout the commonwealth.
The Cambria County Drug and Alcohol ProgramOpens In A New Window is the administrator of drug and alcohol services in Cambria county making them the best point of contact to help individuals find appropriate treatment for themselves or a loved one. They provide services including connections to treatment providers and recovery support services, school-based and community prevention programs, and Narcan distribution.
“Our first responders have saved many lives with Narcan and we have improved access to needed medications and treatment,” said Fred Oliveros, Cambria County Drug and Alcohol Program Administrator. “This conversation also tells us that we can prevent overdoses by providing strong supports for those who are at high risk of substance use, including those who have experienced personal trauma, as well as through our ongoing support of individuals who are living in recovery.”
Since Governor Wolf took office, DDAP has placed a heavy focus on reducing stigma, intensifying primary prevention efforts, strengthening Pennsylvania’s drug and alcohol treatment system, and empowering sustained recovery by:
- Implementing Life Unites Us, the first-of-its-kind, evidence-based stigma reduction campaign which reached nearly four million Pennsylvanians in year one,
- Collecting more than 942,491 pounds of prescription medication across more than 880 take-back boxes in all 67 Pennsylvania counties,
- Launching Pennsylvania’s Get Help Now Hotline and directly connecting more than 43,000 Pennsylvanians with SUD treatment,
- Expanding access to naloxone in communities through Pennsylvania’s standing order, free distribution days, and mail-order naloxone program.
- Implementing Warm Handoff Programs in 95 percent of Pennsylvania’s hospitals and referring more than 27,000 individuals to SUD treatment through those programs,
- Increasing access to medication-assisted treatment and treatment for uninsured and underinsured individuals with SUD, and
- Awarding over $14 million in federal funding to recovery community organizations.
DDAP recently announcedOpens In A New Window its continued efforts to combat SUD and overdose deaths, including the rise in stimulant and polysubstance use. By establishing the Interagency Substance Use Response Team, the Wolf Administration is restructuring efforts to address all substance use disorders, by bringing together key players to resolve policy, procedural, and funding matters in relation to the addiction crisis across the commonwealth.
To learn more about DDAP’s efforts in combatting the addiction crisis, visit ddap.pa.govOpens In A New Window.
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