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Shapiro Administration Continues Statewide Stakeholder Engagement Tour in Philadelphia to Gather Feedback on State’s Response to Overdose Crisis


Philadelphia, PA - Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) Secretary Dr. Latika Davis-Jones continued the agency’s statewide stakeholder engagement tour today in Philadelphia to hear top issues and concerns surrounding the opioid and overdose crises. DDAP’s goal is to gather feedback that will help craft the agency’s plan for increased community and treatment provider engagement.

“The Shapiro Administration is taking an all-hands-on-deck, multifaceted approach to managing the overdose crisis, and it is absolutely vital to go to the epicenter of the crisis to inform our approach,” said DDAP Secretary Dr. Latika Davis-Jones. “Conversations like the ones we had today are not always easy, but they are necessary to help us at the state level better understand what supports are needed most from those who are providing direct services.”

DDAP is also prioritizing gaining stakeholder insight to assist the agency with its regulatory reform initiative. Specifically, the agency’s objectives for the regulatory reform initiative include:

  • Organizing regulations in a way that makes sense for both providers and patients reading them,
  • Updating terminology to use current and consistent terms using plain language while avoiding stigmatizing language, and
  • Ensuring regulations are specifically focused and designed to promote client safety, quality care, and positive outcomes and elevate the patient experience. 

Secretary Davis-Jones was joined by the City of Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) Commissioner Dr. Jill Bowen and staff, elected officials, substance use disorder (SUD) treatment providers, recovery and harm reduction organizations, health care providers, and other stakeholders for a roundtable discussion on efforts to manage the overdose crisis in Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia Single County Authority (SCA), formerly the Office of Addiction Services, plans, funds, and monitors substance use prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery support services in Philadelphia. Through a network of treatment providers, the SCA guides recovery-oriented drug and alcohol treatment for people enrolled in Medicaid, as well as people who are uninsured and underinsured. The mission of the SCA is to provide services and supports that are individualized, built with and around each person and family, including level of care assessment, medically managed inpatient detoxification, residential and non-residential treatment, case management, and youth services.

The SCA is part of DBHIDS’ Behavioral Health Division, which provides mental health services for adults and children requiring medical, social, and educational services.

“We are appreciative of our relationship with DDAP and the Governor’s office,” said Dr. Bowen. “Our conversation today shed light on areas where we can grow and work together to support individuals and families who have substance use disorder in Philadelphia. This kind of collaboration aligns with the DBHIDS mission, as we are steadfast in ensuring that we are educating, strengthening, and serving individuals and communities so that all Philadelphians can thrive.”

DDAP recently awarded five organizations serving Philadelphia approximately $2 million in grants to establish or expand SUD services, community outreach and education to underrepresented communities struggling with the opioid overdose crisis. Funding for these grants is provided from the opioid settlement funding that was appropriated to DDAP by the General Assembly as part of the 2022-23 state budget.

Stakeholders of the tour include individuals in recovery and those with lived experience, service providers, active service recipients, community leaders, schools, corrections units, and more. The tour will seek to reach communities and voices less frequently heard.

As part of this stop, Secretary Davis-Jones toured Kensington Hospital and DBHIDS’ newest Journey of Hope location, which is a collaboration between several innovative long-term residential treatment programs designed to serve individuals experiencing prolonged homelessness, SUDs, and co-occurring mental health challenges.

Today’s events mark the second stop on DDAP’s statewide stakeholder engagement tour. Future tour stops will include Pittsburgh, central and southcentral Pennsylvania, and additional regions of the Commonwealth.

Throughout the remainder of the tour, DDAP will seek to engage stakeholders on SUD issues related to: ​

  • regulations and reform efforts​
  • data requirements and modernization needs​
  • health equity work and advancement​
  • treatment slot management ​
  • improving departmental communications. 

Learn more about the Shapiro Administration’s efforts in combating the overdose crisis  


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