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Shapiro Administration Hosts Annual Symposium Addressing Emerging Drug Trends in the Commonwealth


Harrisburg, PA - The Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP), in partnership with the Liberty Mid-Atlantic High Intensity Trafficking Area (LMA HIDTA) Program, today hosted Pennsylvania’s Emerging Drug Trend Symposium focused on current drug trends, innovative approaches to connect people who use drugs to treatment and other social services, and how to identify gaps in services.

“This symposium was designed with the health and well-being of Pennsylvanians as the primary focus,” said DDAP Secretary Dr. Latika Davis-Jones. “We want to make sure that as drug use patterns change, treatment providers and other allied professionals have the knowledge they need to adapt prevention, intervention, treatment, recovery and harm reduction services to meet the needs of people who use drugs in a variety of settings.”

The no-cost symposium brought together members of law enforcement, criminal justice professionals, health care providers, emergency personnel, substance use disorder (SUD) treatment providers, people with lived experience, and other stakeholders. Since 2019, DDAP has convened stakeholders for an annual meeting to discuss changing drug trends. Formerly called the Pennsylvania Psychostimulant Symposium, this year’s event expanded its focus to include other emerging trends in the street drug supply, including xylazine.

"The illicit and dangerous substances circulating today pose extraordinary challenges to public safety and public health agencies, treatment and recovery support providers, and all who are determined to improve the health and safety of Pennsylvanians,” said LMA HIDTA Executive Director Jeremiah Daley. “We are excited to partner with DDAP once again to bring together professionals from a variety of sectors and backgrounds to share perspectives and find actionable solutions to this crisis that has impacted so many lives and families across the Commonwealth."

Under Governor Josh Shapiro’s leadership, DDAP is placing continued focus on improving and expanding access to high-quality SUD treatment and recovery programs. The aim is to bridge divides in services by prioritizing health equity, while implementing evidenced-based and data-driven prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery strategies as part of a multidisciplinary approach to tackling the overdose crisis.

Individuals seeking substance use disorder resources for themselves or a loved one can call the toll-free PA Get Help Now helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). A live chat option is also available online or via text message at 717-216-0905 for those seeking help who may not be comfortable speaking to a helpline operator.

More information on the Shapiro Administration’s efforts can be found on the DDAP website.

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