LEWISTOWN, Pa. (WHTM) — Jen Smith, Secretary of the Department of Drug and Alcohol of Pennsylvania (DDAP), met with the Juniata Valley Tri-County Drug & Alcohol Abuse Commission on June 28 to discuss the current addiction crisis.

“There’s no better way to learn what the local landscape of the addiction crisis is than to physically go into the community and meet with the boots-on-the-ground workers who are responding to it every day,” said Secretary Smith. “Not only does substance use disorder look different in different parts of the state it also varies across this tri-county area. This is an opportunity to hear directly from folks in this region of the state regarding what successes and challenges they’re currently experiencing and use that information to guide our own state plan moving forward.”

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The Juniata Valley Tri-County Drug & Alcohol Abuse Commission works with adults and adolescents in the area who are struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, even if they do not have insurance.

Governor Tom Wolf has directed the DDAP to focus heavily on strengthening Pennsylvania’s drug and alcohol treatment system by reducing stigmas, intensifying prevention measures, and empowering sustained recovery.

DDAP has introduced stigma-reducing campaigns that have reached over four million Pennsylvanians in one year while also collecting over one million pounds of prescription medications from 889 take-back boxes across all 67 Pennsylvania counties. DDAP also awarded $14 million in federal funding towards community recovery programs, expanded naloxone across the Commonwealth, launched a substance abuse hotline, and more.

To learn more about DDAP’s efforts in combating the addiction crisis, visit ddap.pa.gov.

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