Pittsburgh, PA - Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) Secretary Dr. Latika Davis-Jones continued the agency’s statewide stakeholder engagement tour today in Pittsburgh 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 while also gaining stakeholder insight to assist the agency’s work on regulatory reform.
“The Shapiro-Davis Administration knows it is going to take all of us – government, treatment providers, first responders, community organizations and others – to manage this public health crisis,” said DDAP Secretary Dr. Latika Davis-Jones. “What’s working, what’s not working – these are the conversations we need to keep having and I’m grateful for the opportunity to hear from the individuals who are the true boots on the ground in Allegheny County.”
DDAP is 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.
As part of this stop, Secretary Davis-Jones toured Onala Recovery Century, community-based service provider Auberle, and substance use disorder (SUD) treatment provider for women POWER Restore. Today’s events mark the third stop on DDAP’s statewide stakeholder engagement tour. Future tour stops will include central and southcentral Pennsylvania, and additional regions of the Commonwealth.
Secretary Davis-Jones was joined by Allegheny County’s Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services, elected officials, SUD treatment providers, recovery organizations, health care providers, and other stakeholders for a roundtable discussion on efforts to manage the overdose crisis in Pittsburgh.
The county’s Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services, which is housed under the county’s Department of Human Services (DHS), is the single county authority (SCA) on drug and alcohol services in Allegheny County. The Allegheny County DHS provides and administers publicly funded human services to county residents. Specific drug and alcohol services include case coordination, detoxification and methadone maintenance, outpatient treatment, partial hospitalization, prevention programs, short- and long-term in-patient residential treatment, and student assistance programs.
DDAP recently awarded six organizations serving Allegheny more than $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.
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 at pa.gov/opioids.
MEDIA CONTACT: Stephany Dugan - RA-DAPressOffice@pa.gov
# # #