Pennsylvania agency seeks proposals to stem heroin epidemic

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WYTV) – As part of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s 2015-16 budget proposal, the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) announced Tuesday that it is seeking proposals from the local county drug and alcohol agencies to address the heroin and opioid overdose epidemic.

“We know that individualized treatment conducted with clinical integrity, is an effective solution in addressing the current epidemic,” DDAP Acting Secretary Gary Tennis said in a news release. “This funding opportunity will improve intervention strategies, increase the use of best practices, and increase access to treatment through the local counties.”

The proposal asks counties to develop and implement strategies that will provide individuals the full continuum of care while facilitating their application for funding through Medicaid or private insurance. In addition, the proposal calls for the participating county to track the outcomes of opioid addicted individuals who are referred into treatment.

Additional proposal options include developing or enhancing current methods to access funding for treatment services, use of medications as companions to clinically appropriate treatment, ensuring overdose survivors are referred to treatment and utilizing evidence-based prevention programs.

“Many counties are already striving towards these important initiatives and are ready to work with Pennsylvania to ensure that the right level of treatment is provided with sufficient lengths of stay to get good outcomes. We are excited to move forward with this initiative,” Tennis said.

DDAP’s 2015-16 budget proposal will direct $5 million toward this funding initiative and will disburse monies to the local counties based on the following criteria:

  • Commit at least 80 percent of the total grant award to clinically appropriate treatment and supportive medication expenses.
  • Spend no more than 20 percent of the total grant award for outreach, education, training, prevention and case management.
  • Spend no more than 20 percent of the total grant award for data collection, performance measurement, performance assessment and publication of outcomes data.

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