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Governor Wolf Announces Second $26.5 Million Federal Grant to Continue Fight Against Opioid and Heroin Crisis

April 25, 2018

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today announced that his administration secured another $26.5 million grant through the federal 21st Century Cures Act to address the heroin and opioid epidemic. The grant represents a second year of funding for Pennsylvania under the act and will continue efforts to increase access to treatment, reduce unmet treatment needs for special populations, strengthen prevention activities around the commonwealth, and address the issue of stigma towards addiction that creates barriers to treatment and living in recovery.

“Fighting the opioid and heroin epidemic and helping the Pennsylvanians impacted by the disease of addiction have been priorities for my administration since day one,” Governor Wolf said. “This funding allows my administration to continue progress made because of the first year of Cures Act funding, and I thank the federal government for its support and partnership in fighting this epidemic.”

The $26.5 million State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grant (Opioid STR) will be used to continue year-one progress to ensure access to quality, evidence-based substance use disorder treatment programs and to provide support to new initiatives that focus on workforce development and special populations such as women.

The second grant award will continue funding treatment for uninsured and underinsured Pennsylvanians, support the Pennsylvania Coordinated Medication-Assisted Treatment (PacMAT) program by adding more sites around the commonwealth, and continue point-of-care integration and training on the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP).

“The second round of funding from the 21st Century Cures Grant will continue to help us in our efforts as we address the public health crisis of opioid addiction,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “This funding is essential as we work to ensure that those with opioid use disorder get into treatment. Treatment offers hope to individuals, families and communities throughout Pennsylvania that are being affected by opioids.”

The grant award comes through a continued partnership and joint application from the departments of Aging, Drug and Alcohol Programs, Health, and Human Services. The four agencies met regularly during the first funding year to monitor initiatives and continue to meet through the Opioid Operational Command Center established by Governor Wolf’s disaster declaration to discuss opportunities for initiatives that could be supported by a second year of funding.

The announcement comes during National Addiction Treatment Week, which raises awareness for substance use disorder and the availability of treatment for the disease.

“The programs and initiatives made possible by the 21st Century Cures Act and the Opioid STR grant expand the tools providers have when treating individuals with a substance use disorder,” said Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Secretary Jennifer Smith. “Evidence-based programs work, and this award will continue that investment and allow us to provide greater support and help for our most vulnerable Pennsylvanians.”

Governor Wolf also called on Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation to support proposals that would extend the Opioid STR grants. Multiple bills have been introduced that would extend grant availability, including the Combating the Opioid Epidemic Act sponsored by the Senator Bob Casey, which would make STR funding available through 2027. Under current law, this is the final year for Opioid STR funding.

“We did not reach this level of crisis over night and ending the opioid and heroin epidemic will take more than two years,” said Governor Wolf. “The programs made possible by the Opioid STR grant are making a tangible difference in states’ fights to help people and communities touched by this crisis. We must continue to invest in evidence-based and effective programs made possible by federal support.”

For more information on the commonwealth’s response to the opioid epidemic and treatment options around Pennsylvania, visit www.pa.gov/opioids.

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