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Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Joins Recovery Community, Lawmakers, Advocates for Recovery Advocacy Day at State Capitol

09/21/2022

Harrisburg, PA - Today, the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) joined the Pennsylvania Association of County Drug and Alcohol Administrators (PACDAA), members of Pennsylvania’s recovery community, state lawmakers, and advocates, for a rally to spread a message of hope that people can and do recover from the disease of addiction.

This Eighth Annual Recovery Advocacy Day aims to raise awareness of substance use disorders, celebrate individuals in recovery, and acknowledge the work of prevention, treatment, and recovery support services in honor of National Recovery Month.

“People can and do recover from the disease of addiction. September is a time to celebrate the gift of recovery and to remind people in recovery, and those who support them, that no one is alone in their journey,” said DDAP Secretary Jen Smith. “The Wolf Administration’s efforts go far beyond this month, as we work each and every day to promote recovery and to help all Pennsylvanians live happy, healthy lives. At the crux of our efforts is eliminating stigma and clearing a path for someone to take that first step on their road to recovery.”

Throughout the day, participants visited with their legislators, shared their recovery stories, and conveyed a message of hope that people can and do recover. PACDAA also held a poster contest with the National Recovery Month theme of “Every Person, Every Family, Every Community,” which were displayed on the steps of the Capitol during the press conference. The winner of the poster contest will be used for promotional purposes for the 2023 Recovery Advocacy Day.

In addition to this event, DDAP has traveled across the commonwealth throughout the month of September to join individuals and organizations in celebrating the hope that comes with recovery.

“The truth that comes with recovery is that we know everyone's journey to and through recovery is different,” Smith said. “It’s a journey that’s not just possible, but probable with the right supports. No matter what, the message I want Pennsylvanians to know is that no one walks that journey alone.”

Since Governor Tom Wolf took office, his administration 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 one 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 substance use disorder (SUD) treatment through those programs,
  • Increasing access to medication-assisted treatment and treatment for uninsured and underinsured individuals with SUD,
  • Awarding more than $14 million in federal funding to recovery community organizations, and
  • Expanding a new, free, and confidential SUD treatment locator resource, Addiction Treatment Locator, Assessment, and Standards Platform (ATLAS) to Pennsylvania.

Individuals looking for SUD treatment options or resources for themselves, or a loved one, can call DDAP’s Get Help Now Hotline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). This helpline is free and confidential and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

View a full calendar of National Recovery Month events at ddap.pa.gov.

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

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