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Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Visits Carbon County, Discusses Efforts to Decrease Overdose Deaths


Lehighton, PA - Today, Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) Secretary Jen Smith joined the Carbon-Monroe-Pike Drug & Alcohol Commission, substance use disorder treatment providers and prevention specialists, health care providers, and other stakeholders for a roundtable discussion on local efforts to manage the addiction crisis.

“The combined impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the addiction crisis have been deeply felt in all corners of our state,” said DDAP Secretary Jen Smith. “There is no one-size-fits-all way to tackle these issues, but by engaging in discussions with local communities we can establish long-term responses to the addiction crisis 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 Carbon-Monroe-Pike Drug & Alcohol Commission is the single county authority and administrator of drug and alcohol services in Carbon, Monroe, and Pike counties. The commission is both an administrative body and direct service provider for prevention, intervention, case management and outpatient treatment for individuals with SUD.

“Each county throughout Pennsylvania is dealing with unique circumstances in tackling the overdose epidemic, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jamie Drake, Executive Director of the Carbon-Monroe-Pike Drug & Alcohol Commission. “Conversations like the one we are having today will help those at the state level get a better understanding of local-level issues and needs moving forward to combat this crisis by hearing directly from folks who are providing continued prevention, treatment and recovery supports to local residents.”

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 announced 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

MEDIA CONTACT: Stephany Dugan -

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