Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs

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Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs
Agency overview
FormedJuly 2012
JurisdictionState government of Pennsylvania
HeadquartersOne Penn Center

2601 North 3rd Street Harrisburg, PA 17110

(717) 783-8200
EmployeesUnder 100
Annual budget$41.860 million 2014-2015 fiscal year
Agency executives
  • Jennifer Smith, Secretary of the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs
  • Ellen DiDomenico, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs

The Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs is a cabinet-level agency in the Government of Pennsylvania under Governor Tom Wolf.[1] The objective of this department is to manage and distribute state and federal funds used to oversee alcohol and drug prevention, intervention and treatment services.

“The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs mission is to engage, coordinate and lead the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s effort to prevent and reduce drug, alcohol and gambling addiction and abuse; and to promote recovery, thereby reducing the human and economic impact of the disease.”


The Pennsylvania department of drug and alcohol programs formed in July 2012 due to the change in government proposed in Pennsylvania Act 50 in 2010. This department was originally under the department of health, but changed to its own organization to focus solely on drug and alcohol related addictions and problems. The Department’s hard work was rewarded on June 27, 2012 when Garrison Gladfelter was presented with the Ketty award for the National Prevention Network (NPN). Since 1989, the Ketty Award has been awarded annually to NPN representatives who have made tremendous contributions to the network and to the field of substance use prevention. Their work continued to be noticed for on June 27, 2012, Gary Tennis received the national Ramstad award for outstanding leadership. More specifically, it was given to him “for his leadership in recovery support across Pennsylvania."

On August 21, 2015 the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs formed Facebook and Twitter pages to keep up with the growing online population, in its continuing effort to help the citizens of Pennsylvania.

Services in Pennsylvania[edit]

The Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs provides 42 Alcoholics Anonymous sites spanning most counties. A desire to stop drinking is the only requirement to becoming a member. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership; they are self-supporting through their own contributions. A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution and neither endorses nor opposes any causes.Their main focus is for its members to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety as well. For more information and locations go to the link provided in references.[1]

They also provide 44 Narcotics Anonymous sites to assist in drug addictions as well. For more information on locations and procedures follow the link provided in references.[1] Both organizations utilize a 12 step program which has been proven successful to those trying to remedy their addictions. DDAP provides access to programs such as the prescription drug take back program, overdose awareness, and information on rehab centers. One of their main projects, is to spread the knowledge and availability of Naloxone, which is a medication that can reverse an overdose caused by an Opioid drug overdose. They have made progress on this front by enacting ACT 139, which gives first responders, friends, and families access to the opioid overdose reversal medicine, this way more lives can be saved by a quicker treatment response.

Heroin Problem in Pennsylvania[edit]

Within the United States, Pennsylvania snatched third place on the most use of heroin and is the seventh placer to have the most deaths due to heroin overdose.[2] It may be that the state is not at the top of the list, but the state government is concerned that the deemed heroin epidemic is killing more and more people and consumes a large sum of government finances with regards of first responders and overdose calls[3]. This kind of state problem requires immediate attention since the heroin epidemic does not only affect the users themselves but even babies who are being conceived by heroin-addicted mothers[4]. To resolve this problem, the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, under the supervision of Governor Tom Wolf, for emergency responders to provide naloxone to victims of opioid or heroin overdose[5]. Naloxone is a type of medication which targets the reversal of opioid/heroin overdose of which the effects easily takes place and regulates a person’s system back to its normal condition[6]. Naloxone can be achieved by friends or families of users and can administer it without prescription so that they can take immediate action. This declaration under ACT 139 also known as David’s Law aims to decrease the death rates in Pennsylvania related to opioid/heroin overdose.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs". Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  2. ^ Satalia, Patty. "Take Note: PA's Heroin Problem". Retrieved 2018-06-01.
  3. ^ Schroeder, Steve Esack, Pamela Lehman, Tim Darragh, Laurie Mason. "Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf declares disaster emergency over 'opioid and heroin epidemic'". Retrieved 2018-06-01.
  4. ^ "Pennsylvania's Heroin Epidemic Hits Its Most Vulnerable -Newborns - Serenity at Summit". Serenity at Summit. 2017-07-05. Retrieved 2018-06-01.
  5. ^ "Opioid/Heroin Reversal (Naloxone)". Retrieved 2018-06-01.
  6. ^ Abuse, National Institute on Drug (2018-04-04). "Opioid Overdose Reversal with Naloxone (Narcan, Evzio)". Retrieved 2018-06-01.

External links[edit]