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Shapiro-Davis Administration Highlights Success of PA Overdose Prevention Program Distribution in First 30 Days, Available Resources


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Harrisburg, PA - The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD), and Departments of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP), and Health (DOH) joined the Pennsylvania Harm Reduction Network (PAHRN), Harrisburg Harm Reduction Project, and The RASE Project to discuss successes in harm reduction supply distribution, highlight available local resources for individuals living with substance use disorder, and provide demonstrations on how to effectively use naloxone and drug test strips. In the first month of the Pennsylvania Overdose Prevention Program (POPP), the initiative has already fulfilled 475 orders of drug test strips and naloxone, according to PCCD.

“The Shapiro-Davis Administration wants all Pennsylvanians to be prepared— an overdose can happen anytime, anywhere,” said DDAP Secretary Dr. Latika Davis-Jones. “I encourage individuals and organizations to take advantage of this program to get naloxone and drug testing tools into more hands. As we continue to address the overdose crisis in Pennsylvania, we must keep expanding access to and provide equitable resources across the board.”

The PA Overdose Prevention Program (POPP) is the Shapiro Davis-Administration’s latest effort to curb overdose deaths by providing resources to reduce harm and get life-saving tools to individuals and communities in need. Organizations can request a free supply of naloxone and/or drug checking strips through the program by completing this request form.

“The vast need for these supplies can be seen through the large number of requests that we’ve received in the first 30 days of the PA Overdose Prevention Program,” said PCCD Executive Director Mike Pennington. “I hope that organizations on the front lines of the overdose epidemic continue to take advantage of this new distribution initiative. By getting these supplies into communities, we can save lives.”

Since the launch of POPP on August 31, 2023, PCCD has received more than 500 requests from community-based organizations and other groups across the Commonwealth. During the month of September, the program fulfilled and distributed 295 unique orders for approximately 404,000 xylazine/fentanyl test strips and approximately 180 orders for approximately 127,000 kits of intranasal naloxone. 

The program serves as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for individuals and organizations seeking multiple formulations of naloxone, as well as fentanyl and xylazine test strips. Much like the previous Naloxone for First Responders Program, POPP continues to emphasize statewide and regional ‘saturation’ and accessibility, with a focus on getting naloxone and harm reduction supplies into the hands of people who use drugs and those who serve and support them. 

“The Department of Health is dedicated to implementing overdose prevention strategies and collaborating with state and local organizations to ensure equitable access to resources for Pennsylvanians in need,” said DOH Deputy Secretary of Health Resources and Services & Chief Business Analytics Officer Muneeza Iqbal. “We support efforts to expand harm reduction services and increase access to naloxone, fentanyl test strips, and xylazine test strips, all while using public health data to guide and evaluate our collective efforts.”   

In addition to POPP’s distribution efforts, Pennsylvanians can obtain naloxone in a variety of other ways including:

  • Using DOH’s standing order which individuals can present at a local pharmacy to obtain naloxone;
  • Having naloxone mailed to your home for free, through a partnership with NEXT Distro;
  • Visiting a local pharmacy and purchasing Narcan (4 mg nasal spray) over the counter without a prescription; and/or
  • Utilizing the Pennsylvania Department of Aging’s co-pay assistance program which can assist with the reimbursement of naloxone, up to $75 for eligible residents.

Today’s news conference also featured demonstrations of how and when to use naloxone nasal spray in the case of a suspected opioid overdose as well as the proper way to use drug checking strips to test for xylazine or fentanyl contamination. 

“Launching POPP is a big step forward for Pennsylvania in ensuring we effectively address our state's overdose crisis. The program puts the focus of overdose prevention efforts where it belongs—with harm reduction groups and other grassroots service providers,” said Co-Founder and Executive Director of PA Harm Reduction Network Carla Sofronski. “Harm reduction groups are best positioned to provide naloxone and drug checking strips to people who use drugs and are at risk of experiencing or witnessing an overdose. PAHRN is proud to partner with the POPP program in helping to spread the word on how people across our state can access these free life-saving supplies.”

The Pennsylvania Harm Reduction Network, The RASE Project, and the Harrisburg Harm Reduction Project are all community-based harm reduction organizations providing boots on the ground support to Pennsylvanians by meeting people where they are and providing harm reduction tools to some of the hardest hit communities in Pennsylvania.

Individuals seeking substance use disorder treatment or recovery resources for themselves or a loved one can be connected to local resources by visiting or by calling the toll-free PA Get Help Now helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). 

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