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Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Discusses Efforts to Decrease Overdose Deaths in York and Adams Counties

01/12/2022

Harrisburg, PA - Today, Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) Secretary Jen Smith joined the York/Adams 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 ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the addiction crisis continue to be co-occurring, having deep impacts in every region of the state,” said Secretary Smith. “Local communities are the boots on the ground when it comes to managing the responses to the addiction crisis. This is an opportunity to hear directly from folks in the south-central region of the state regarding adjustments they have made since the beginning of the pandemic and what successes and challenges they’re currently experiencing. We will use this information to help us form a long-term plan for bettering the lives of those struggling with substance use disorder.”

This virtual 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 York/Adams Drug & Alcohol Commission is the single county authority and administrator of drug and alcohol services in York and Adams counties. The commission is responsible for planning, administering, funding, and evaluating the local drug and alcohol prevention, intervention and treatment-related services within York and Adams counties.

“Each county throughout Pennsylvania is dealing with unique circumstances in tackling the overdose epidemic, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Audrey Gladfelter, York/Adams Drug & Alcohol Commission Administrator. “Conversations like the one we are having today will help those at the state and county level gain a better understanding of local-level issues and needs moving forward to combat this crisis by hearing directly from individuals who are providing continued prevention, treatment, and recovery supports to local residents. It is through these conversations that we continue the important work of ultimately saving lives.”

Since Governor Tom 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 1 million pounds of prescription medication across more than 889 take-back boxes in all 67 Pennsylvania counties,
  • Launching Pennsylvania’s Get Help Now Hotline, which has connected an average of 21 Pennsylvanians per day directly to substance use disorder 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 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 combating the addiction crisis, visit ddap.pa.gov.


MEDIA CONTACT: Stephany Dugan - ra-dapressoffice@pa.gov


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