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02/11/2020

Drug and Alcohol Secretary Visits County Jail to Learn about Evidence-Based Opioid Use Disorder Treatment Program

Harrisburg , PA - Today, Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) Secretary Jennifer Smith toured Lehigh County Jail as part of the Wolf Administration’s recent announcement of more than $1.2 million in grants to nine county jails to support the county jail-based Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) Program to increase opioid use disorder (OUD) services to inmates in prisons and jails across the commonwealth. Lehigh County received approximately $116,700.

“It is our job to filter funding and resources to local communities to ensure individuals with OUD are being treated appropriately,” said DDAP Secretary Jen Smith. “Expanding access to evidence-based MAT services has been a primary goal of the Wolf Administration in battling the opioid crisis, especially for priority populations like individuals incarcerated. If we do not appropriately treat their disease while incarcerated, we cannot expect them to sustain recovery upon reentry.”

The grants are part of the $55.9 million SAMSHA grant secured to bolster the state’s response to the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic.

Over the course of this grant, all grantees will be invited to participate in a state-of-the-art learning collaborative with both in-person and webinar components organized on a monthly basis. Learning collaborative events will include guidance and resources on topics such as avoiding diversion, Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), workflow and protocol development, and referral planning/reentry.

Recipients will establish or increase opportunities to provide MAT in combination with CBT to individuals in county jails and upon release to the community. This model ensures that jails receive intensive individualized support but can also benefit from lessons learned in other jurisdictions. Participation in technical assistance, to the extent practicable, is a condition of this grant.

“We look forward to seeing the impact this funding will make in the Lehigh community and the other eight locations across the commonwealth,” said Smith.

In January 2018, Gov. Tom Wolf declared the opioid crisis in Pennsylvania a disaster emergency and continued supporting further MAT expansion within the DOC. For more information about the work the Wolf Administration is doing to combat the opioid crisis, visit pa.gov/opioids.


MEDIA CONTACT: Rachel Kostelac - 717-547-3314


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