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Announcements

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2/3/2023 12:46 PMDDAP’s Regulatory Suspensions and End of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

On January 30, the Biden Administration announced that the COVID-19 national emergency and public health emergency (PHE) will both expire on Thursday, May 11, 2023.


Under Act 30 of 2022, the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs’ (DDAP’s) regulatory suspensions that are “related to federal exemptions granted under the federal public health emergency declaration” were extended until “the last day federal exemptions granted under the federal public health emergency declaration are authorized.” In other words, Act 30 aligned the timing for DDAP’s regulatory suspensions with the deadline for flexibilities granted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) – not with the deadline of the PHE itself.

Below is a description of each currently-suspended regulation, and what DDAP knows about efforts to make these changes permanent at the federal level. 

Methadone take-home supply

Current regulatory suspension: Under the federal PHE, SAMHSA is currently allowing up to 28 days of take-home medications for patients on stable dosages, as deemed appropriate by their physician. DDAP’s regulation at 28 Pa. Code § 715.16(e) (prohibiting narcotic treatment programs [NTPs] from permitting a patient to receive more than a 2-week take-home supply) is currently suspended under Act 30.

Expiration of the PHE: In November 2021, SAMHSA announced that the methadone take-home flexibilities will be extended for one year after the end of the PHE (now May 11, 2024). DDAP submitted our written concurrence with this exemption in February 2022. Furthermore, SAMHSA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking in December 2022 that proposes modifying regulations related to methadone take-home supply up to 28 days, among other changes. 

Buprenorphine telehealth

Current regulatory suspension: Under the federal PHE, SAMHSA and the DEA are currently allowing initial evaluations for a patient who will be treated with buprenorphine to be completed via telehealth. DDAP has two related regulations that are currently suspended under Act 30:
  • 28 Pa. Code § 715.9(a)(4): requires NTPs to make a face-to-face determination before admission to treatment, for those clients who will receive medication to treat opioid use disorder (OUD).
  • 28 Pa. Code § 715.6(d): requires NTPs to have narcotic treatment physician services onsite.

Expiration of the PHE: In March 2022, the DEA announced that they are currently working to make their teleprescribing regulations permanent. In June 2022, SAMHSA announced to State Opioid Treatment Authorities that flexibilities around telehealth evaluations before buprenorphine treatment at NTPs, specifically, will be extended for one year after the end of the PHE (now May 11, 2024). 

SAMHSA and DEA have made clear that support for these flexibilities have been overwhelmingly positive, decreased stigma associated with OUD, and enhanced care for patients. Given the information above, DDAP does not anticipate any lapses in these flexibilities at either the federal or state level but will continue to provide updates and guidance as available.

Resources:

If you have any further questions, please contact the Bureau of Program Licensure at (717) 783-8675 or RA-licensuredivision@pa.gov.


1/6/2023 12:43 PMInformation Bulletin 04-22 - Suicide and overdose death review teams

​The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) released Information Bulletin 04-22: Act 101 of 2022, Suicide and overdose death review teams. 

1/6/2023 12:42 PMATLAS Open Enrollment Period - Extended
The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) announced an  open enrollment period at the end of 2022 for licensed substance use disorder (SUD) treatment providers in Pennsylvania to submit their information to be included in the Addiction Treatment Locator, Assessment, and Standards Platform, ATLAS.  This open enrollment period has been extended, and will now continue through January 13th.

Those who can take advantage of this extension include: 
  1. Facilities already included in ATLAS to update information if there are any changes since the original enrollment.  If you are already included and need to make changes to your profile information, please reach out to Shatterproof directly at ATLAS@shatterproof.org 
  2. Facilities that have not submitted the treatment facility survey to complete the survey and have their information appear in ATLAS. Shatterproof will reach out directly if your licensed SUD facility’s information is not currently included on the tool. There is a streamlined submission process for those organizations with multiple facilities. 
By completing your ATLAS survey during this open enrollment period, you ensure that the information presented in your site’s profile on TreatmentATLAS.org is accurate and you also gain access to a customized portal that allows you to benchmark and compare your services against your peers.  If you have any questions or need to have the treatment facility survey resent to your agency, please reach out to Angad Buttar AButtar@Shatterproof.org. 


12/6/2022 3:06 PMInformation Bulletin 03-22 - Negative drug screen

​The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) released Information Bulletin 03-22: Act 101 of 2022, Negative drug test not a basis to deny treatment. 

12/2/2022 3:24 PMReminder of DDAP licensure process

The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) is reminding providers how to apply for drug and alcohol licensure in Pennsylvania.   


Treatment Services Licensure
Anyone wishing to be a provider of substance use disorder (SUD) treatment services is asked to complete the Request for Licensing Application Packet to request a packet for the level of care in which services will be provided. Once this packet is requested, you will receive an email and a phone call from DDAP licensing staff to begin the process of becoming licensed.  

Recovery House Licensure
Entities wishing to be a licensed recovery house, must apply online at Initial Provider Application Login (pa.gov), which can be located on the DDAP Recovery House page. Once the recovery house online application is submitted, DDAP staff will review the application and send an email requesting any corrections or providing information regarding the next steps.   

DDAP licensing staff will always:
  • Schedule an appointment in advance for an initial licensure inspection.
  • Send an email from a state-assigned email address including “@pa.gov” with attached information to be completed prior to the scheduled initial licensure inspection.
  • Call several days before the scheduled appointment to confirm the appointment, discuss the process, and answer any questions.
  • Arrive with Pennsylvania State Employee Identification.
  • Give you their business card with the official DDAP logo and contact information.
If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact the Licensing Bureau at (717)783-8675 or ra-licensuredivision@pa.gov.



12/1/2022 11:12 AMNew DDAP Licensing Alert

The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) released Licensing Alert 03-2022 related to Act 33 of 2022 – Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Requirements.


Please submit all questions regarding this alert to the Bureau of Program Licensure at RA-licensuredivision@pa.gov



11/3/2022 2:28 PMDDAP 2022-2023 Peer Review Process

Pennsylvania’s Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) is pleased to announce its partnership with Penn State Harrisburg’s Douglas W. Pollock Center for Addiction Outreach and Research in the next Independent Peer Review (IPR) process. The focus of this review will be the Medically Monitored Intensive Inpatient Services 3.7 level of care. DDAP will reach out to request participation from those providers that are part of DDAP’s ASAM 3.7 Aligned Facilities.

The Federal Substance Abuse Block Grant (SABG) requires that each state establish an IPR process to assess the quality, appropriateness, and efficacy of programs that provide services funded by the grant.

This process is an opportunity for treatment providers to engage in a peer-to-peer review of substance use disorder treatment services delivered in Pennsylvania. The IPR serves to identify areas of success, areas of improvement, and to assist with long-term planning.

The information will be collected through interviews, surveys, and various documentation provided by you, as a participating provider.
  • Peer review is NOT a licensing, certification, or monitoring process.
  • Peer review is an educational process for both the program being reviewed and the professionals conducting the review, with a goal of stimulating professional growth and strengthening the profession.
  • Peer review provides a supportive environment in which professionals can evaluate each other, identify quality improvement opportunities, and provide guidance, advice, and instruction on how to achieve improved clinical practices and quality of care.
Are you a licensed treatment facility providing Level 3.7 Medically Monitored Intensive Inpatient Services with expertise in substance use disorder treatment and service delivery? Have you wanted to showcase your areas of success to others? Would you like to give and receive feedback to and from peers? 

If you are interested in learning more about peer review or wish to participate, please contact Drug and Alcohol Program Analyst, Antoinette Sacco at ansacco@pa.gov



9/27/2022 2:37 PMNew DDAP Licensing Alert

The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) released Licensing Alert 02-2022 related to the process for establishing Mobile Narcotic Treatment Programs (NTPs).


Please submit all questions regarding this alert to the Bureau of Program Licensure at RA-licensuredivision@pa.gov. 


9/15/2022 10:57 AMUpdated Training: Substance Use Disorder Confidentiality
The Pennsylvania Department of Drug & Alcohol Programs (DDAP) is pleased to announce the availability of the updated online training module for Substance Use Disorder Confidentiality through TrainPA. This update includes changes that were brought on as a result of the signing of Act 33 on July 7, 2022 by Governor Wolf.

This training is a review of the relevant confidentiality laws and regulations protecting the privacy of those seeking and receiving services for substance use disorders and is designed to help participants gain the basic knowledge needed to effectively perform their job duties within the parameters of confidentiality protections.

You will receive 3 hours of PCB continuing education credit for completing this online training. DDAP has removed the in-person training from our catalog, and this online module will be the only method available to complete this training.





9/7/2022 4:15 PMSABG Public Comment

The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs is providing the opportunity for public comment on the Pennsylvania Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant (SABG) Application Submission. This submission will occur in three parts: The Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Assessment and Plan or Mini-Application which is currently available in draft and available for review; the SAPT Report which will be posted in November, and the Annual Synar Report which will be made available in December. 

These documents can be accessed at https://bgas.samhsa.gov utilizing “citizenpa” as your login and “citizen” as your password. Please submit all comments to ra-dagrantsmgmt@pa.gov by Sept. 30.


8/24/2022 12:44 PMInformation Bulletin 02-22 - Confidentiality of SUD Records

​The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) released Information Bulletin 02-22: Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Records. 

8/4/2022 10:59 AMNew DDAP Licensing Alert

The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) released Licensing Alert 01-2022 related to Complaint Investigations for Drug and Alcohol Treatment Facilities. 


Please submit all questions regarding this alert to the Bureau of Program Licensure at RA-licensuredivision@pa.gov. 
7/25/2022 11:18 AMAct 33 - Confidentiality

​On July 7, 2022 Governor Wolf signed Act 33 of 2022, which amends Act 63 of 1972 as it pertains to confidentiality of substance use disorder patient records. Act 33 incorporates federal confidential protections under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and 42 CFR Part 2. Act 33, which took effect immediately, prohibits the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) from promulgating or enforcing a regulation that restricts any disclosure of records or information that is permitted by Act 33. DDAP is currently reviewing Act 33 to determine next steps as a regulatory agency and will be providing additional information and details via this listserv and on the DDAP website in the near future. 

6/9/2022 11:26 AMReminder: Recovery House Licensure

​In 2017, Governor Wolf signed Senate Bill 446 into law as Act 59, which gave the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) the power and duty to license drug and alcohol recovery houses that receive referrals from state agencies or state-funded facilities, or receive federal or state funding. That legislation gave DDAP the authority to take enforcement action and issue fines against operators of unlicensed recovery houses that receive public funding. Last December, DDAP announced that it had published regulations for the licensure program for drug and alcohol recovery houses was accepting applications. Those regulations stated that the provision for issuance of fines would not take effect until 180 days after they were published.


Today is June 9, 2022, 180 days after publication of the regulations. View Information Bulletin 01-22 for requirements for recovery house licensure.


Rest assured that our goal is to continue working with recovery houses to attain licensure and we will not be looking to penalize houses that are actively working through that process. DDAP and the SCAs share a common goal of causing the least amount of disruption to the lives of individuals in recovery and are hopeful that more houses will continue to submit applications and increase the capacity of licensed recovery houses in Pennsylvania.
 
To that point, SCAs may continue to act on existing contracts with recovery houses regardless of licensure status through June 30, 2022. Beginning July 1, 2022 SCAs may not execute new contracts with unlicensed houses. For existing contracts that run beyond July 1, SCAs can no longer pay unlicensed houses and should be looking to transition residents to licensed houses and other living arrangements unless the house shows a timely, good faith effort to apply for licensure.
 
More information on the recovery house application process can be found on the DDAP website. DDAP is also offering a free one-day training workshop designed to answer the various questions associated with the application process. Participation in the workshop results in a decrease in the amount of time it takes to approve applications, resulting in the license being issued sooner to those applicants who participate. To register for the workshop please email RA-licensureapps@pa.gov or call 717-783-8675.

4/4/2022 10:02 AMInformation Bulletin 01-22 - Recovery house licensure

​The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) released Information Bulletin 01-22: Reminder of requirements for recovery house licensure.

If you have any questions about DDAP’s recovery house licensure program, please contact the Division of Drug and Alcohol Program Licensure at (717)783-8675 or RA-licensuredivision@pa.gov.

4/1/2022 9:39 AMApril is Alcohol Awareness Month

​April 1st marks the start of National Alcohol Awareness Month. The goal throughout the month of April is to increase the public’s awareness and knowledge of one of the most significant public health issues in Pennsylvania, Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD).

Across the U.S, nearly 15 million people are living with AUD. In Pennsylvania specifically, studies found that 60% of adults drink alcohol and 28.8% of Pennsylvania adults binge drink. We also know that the COVID-19 pandemic has further increased the use of alcohol, especially among women.

While alcohol is often viewed as a stress reliever or a societal norm, it’s important to realize that excessive alcohol use can cause short-term and long-term health problems and negatively impact mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.

Alcohol Awareness Month reinforces the message that no one with this disease is alone and that help is available if you or someone you know is struggling. I encourage you join with me in spreading messages of hope and support throughout this month. Sharing the number to our Get Help Now hotline 1-800-662-HELP (4357) may be the very thing someone close to you needs to begin their recovery journey. By working together, we will all be doing our part in creating a safer, healthier commonwealth.

Additional Resources:


Secretary Jen Smith
Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs

3/31/2022 9:23 AMDDAP's Regulatory Suspensions

​In September 2021, Governor Wolf signed Act 73 into law, which extended three of the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs’ (DDAP) temporary regulatory suspensions through March 31, 2022 in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Yesterday, Governor Wolf signed Senate Bill 1019 into law, which further extends DDAP’s regulatory suspensions that are “related to federal exemptions granted under the federal public health emergency declaration” until “the last day federal exemptions granted under the federal public health emergency declaration are authorized.” In addition to three DDAP regulatory suspensions, one additional regulation from the Department of State, also relevant to the field, is included in the chart below and also remains suspended.

​Statute/Regulation​Statute/Regulation Purpose ​Waiver Benefit/Explanation
​28 Pa. Code § 715.16(e)​Prohibits narcotic treatment programs (NTPs – methadone clinics) from permitting a patient to receive more than a 2-week take-home supply of medication.​In response to COVID-19, SAMHSA is allowing up to 28 days of take-home medications for patients on stable dosages, if the physician deems appropriate.
​28 Pa. Code § 715.9(a)(4) ​Requires NTPs to make a face-to-face determination before admission to treatment, for those clients who will receive buprenorphine treatment.​In response to COVID-19, SAMHSA is allowing initial evaluations for a patient who will be treated with buprenorphine to be completed via telehealth.
​28 Pa. Code § 715.6(d)​Requires NTPs to have narcotic treatment physician services onsite.​In response to COVID-19, SAMHSA is allowing initial evaluations for a patient who will be treated with buprenorphine to be completed via telehealth.
​49 Pa. Code § 16.92(b)(1)
(Department of State)
​Before a patient can be prescribed any controlled substance in Pennsylvania, a person licensed to practice medicine and surgery in the commonwealth, or otherwise licensed or regulated by the State Board of Medicine, must take an initial medical history and conduct an initial physical examination,
unless emergency circumstances justify otherwise.
​In response to COVID-19, the Department of State suspended the initial medical history and physical examination requirement specifically for the treatment of opioid-use disorder with buprenorphine.


In November 2021, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced that the methadone take-home flexibilities will be extended for one year after the eventual expiration of the federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. DDAP has submitted our written concurrence with this exemption. SAMHSA has also indicated that they are currently considering mechanisms to make this flexibility permanent. Narcotic treatment programs do not need to do anything additional at this time to continue taking advantage of this flexibility.

Similarly, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) also announced last week that they are currently working to make their teleprescribing regulations permanent. DDAP will continue to provide additional information and guidance as it becomes available.

If you have any further questions, please contact the Bureau of Program Licensure at (717) 783-8675 or RA-licensuredivision@pa.gov.

2/28/2022 11:15 AMLife Unites Us: Monthly Data Briefs

​We’re pleased to announce the release of monthly data briefs from the PA Opioid & Substance Use Disorder Stigma Reduction Campaign, Life Unites Us.

These data briefs, created by the Institute of State and Regional Affairs and the Douglas W. Pollock Center for Addiction Outreach and Research at Penn State Harrisburg, explore qualitative and quantitative data to further contextualize substance use stigma in Pennsylvania. These briefs can be found on the project data portal.

2/25/2022 10:12 AMMDAIR announcement

​The Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) is pleased to announce the selection of the Medication Death and Incident Review (MDAIR) Team. The MDAIR team will focus on medication-related deaths and incidents involving medications approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of opioid use disorder. The team will work together to review medication-related deaths, communicate concerns, and develop best practices to prevent future medication-related deaths and incidents.

This new team was created as Act 126 of 2020 updated the previous Methadone Death and Incident Review Law to include a review of death and incidents related to FDA-approved medications as a primary, secondary or contributing factor to the death or incident. The composition of the team members can be found on the MDAIR webpage

If you have any questions, please contact Kathleen Hoagland at khoagland@pa.gov.

2/3/2022 2:51 PMNEW ASAM Criteria Training

​The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs has added a third option to its list of approved ASAM Criteria education.

For more information on ASAM, visit the DDAP website.

1/24/2022 9:35 AMDDAP Welcomes Dr. Lynch

​I am pleased to announce Dr. Michael Lynch as the first Substance Use Disorder Medical Consultant for the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP). Dr. Lynch is board certified in Emergency Medicine, Medical Toxicology, and Addiction Medicine.


In this position, Dr. Lynch will advise and assist DDAP in the development of policy and procedure related to medical best practice and advances related to substance use disorder (SUD) treatment, including but not limited to:

  • Providing technical assistance to SUD treatment providers and physicians in PA’s system of care, including the application of the ASAM criteria;
  • Developing projects to improve delivery of care to individuals with SUD;
  • Researching and reviewing new technologies and procedures, reviewing pertinent medical literature, and presenting findings and recommendations to appropriate entities regarding SUD, opioid use disorder, and medication-assisted therapies;
  • Educating stakeholders and providers relative to medication-assisted therapies, drug and alcohol, and narcotic treatment regulations; and
  • Developing new workflows and processes to increase quality improvement measures for DDAP and treatment providers.


Dr. Lynch graduated from the University of Notre Dame and University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine before completing his residency in Emergency Medicine and fellowship in Medical Toxicology at the University of Pittsburgh. He is an assistant professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh and works in the Emergency Departments at UPMC Presbyterian and Mercy Hospitals. The Toxicology service at UPMC is one of the busiest in the country, seeing patients at five Pittsburgh hospitals as well as providing inpatient addiction and telemedicine treatment. Dr. Lynch is the Medical Director of the Pittsburgh Poison Center and of SUD Services at UPMC Health Plan while continuing to serve on the Boards of Directors for the PA College of Emergency Physicians and the American Association of Poison Control Centers.  


I look forward to the experience and expertise that Dr. Lynch will bring to help improve the drug and alcohol treatment system for individuals with SUD across Pennsylvania.

Jen Smith
DDAP Secretary

12/13/2021 2:51 PMDDAP Licensing Announcement: Recovery Houses

Recovery House Licensure Program is Live
On Saturday, December 11, 2021, the Pennsylvania Code and Bulletin published the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs’ (DDAP’s) regulations at 28 Pa. Code Chapter 717, Standards for Drug and Alcohol Recovery House Licensure.

The regulations can be found here: http://www.pacodeandbulletin.gov/Display/pabull?file=/secure/pabulletin/data/vol51/51-50/2058.html

DDAP is now accepting licensing applications for recovery houses. The application, as well as information about the licensing process, can be found here: https://www.ddap.pa.gov/Licensing/Pages/Licensing.aspx

Which Recovery Houses Need a License?
Drug and alcohol recovery houses must have a license in order to:

  1. Receive referrals from state agencies or state-funded facilities, or
  2. Receive federal or state funding to deliver recovery house services.

In addition, the law imposes two additional requirements on referrals to recovery houses:

  1. Persons whose treatment is funded with state or federal funds shall only to be referred to licensed recovery houses.
  2. Courts shall give first consideration to licensed recovery houses when residential recommendations are made for individuals under their supervision.  

Recovery houses that require a license must obtain licensure within 180 days after publication of the regulations, which is June 9, 2022.

Recovery house operators with questions about the licensure process may contact the Division of Drug and Alcohol Program Licensure at (717) 783-8675.

12/2/2021 12:25 PMNew DDAP Licensing Alert

​The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs released Licensing Alert 03-2021 related to Staffing Regulations - Qualifications/Degree in a Related Field.

11/17/2021 9:58 AMNeonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) Family Guide Toolkit

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) Family Guide Toolkit

NAS is a group of withdrawal symptoms in newborns that show up after being exposed to medications or substances, most often opioids, benzodiazepines and/or barbiturates during pregnancy.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health in partnership with the Northwestern Pennsylvania Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Coalition and the Ohio Perinatal Quality Collaborative created this NAS Family Guide Toolkit to help educate families and individuals about NAS, treatment options, and other supports.

11/17/2021 9:55 AMProviders - ATLAS follow up

​The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) is in the process of implementing the ATLAS® (Addiction Treatment Locator, Analysis, and Standards) platform in Pennsylvania over the coming months. Since our last communication, many of you have been contacted by Shatterproof to begin data collection and almost 40 providers have completed the survey process.

Resources are available if you have questions and/or need help completing the survey:

Register for an upcoming ATLAS Provider Roundtable Webinar:

10/19/2021 11:48 AMRecovery Rising Update

​In January 2021, the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) launched a stakeholder-led initiative called Recovery Rising to foster a resilient, diverse, and accessible recovery environment in Pennsylvania. During Phase One of this initiative, from April to July of 2021, Recovery Rising hosted four regional stakeholder meetings with a total of 181 attendees and a Statewide Convening with 128 attendees all representing an extensive range of supports for and pathways to recovery. The discussions were robust, spirited, and passionate.
 
From these convenings, an Advisory Commission of influencers – spanning peer, clinical, family and community roles – prioritized eight key areas on which the commonwealth should focus to embed and expand recovery support services throughout the state. Those broad categories include:

  • Create Equitable, Sustainable, and Flexible Funding for Recovery Supports
  • Build the Capacity and Expand the Role of Recovery Community Organizations
  • Commit to Ensure Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Make Person-centered and Recovery-oriented Care the Norm
  • Provide the Critical Recovery Support Services Needed in Pennsylvania Improve Access in Rural Areas
  • Provide Education and Training to Reduce Stigma and Equip People to Support All Pathways to Recovery
  • Build the State-level Infrastructure to Support Recovery

Starting this month, DDAP will launch Phase Two. During this phase, the main priorities of the initiative include exploring appropriate ways for building capacity to support recovery work, facilitating dialogue and strategic planning around the best model for a statewide or regional RCOs, and assessing racial equity for recovery support services in PA to determine need and help the state design better policies and issue equity-based funding opportunities. In the near future, DDAP will be once again engaging stakeholders on strategies to realize these goals.  

Learn more about the Recovery Rising initiative by reading the Phase 1 Report. Questions on this work can be directed to ra-darecoveryrising@pa.gov.

10/14/2021 1:37 PMFor Providers: ATLAS Data Collection

​Dear DDAP Stakeholder,

As many of you may know, the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) will be implementing the ATLAS® (Addiction Treatment Locator, Analysis, and Standards) platform in Pennsylvania over the coming months.

This free multi-state, web-based platform will help ensure that Pennsylvanians and their loved ones struggling with the disease of addiction are able to quickly and easily access treatment resources and information that meets their individual needs. DDAP is excited to partner with Shatterproof, a national non-profit, to collect data from Pennsylvania’s licensed drug and alcohol treatment providers to be included in ATLAS in the Spring of 2022. 


Since Shatterproof publicly launched ATLAS in July 2020, the site has seen over 4,600 unique visitors from Pennsylvania alone. This statistic is extremely important as the pertinent data about Pennsylvania’s licensed treatment providers is not yet available to individuals visiting the website.

DDAP extracted contact information for all licensed drug and alcohol treatment providers from our Survey Agency Information System (SAIS). This information will be used to communicate instructions, including contact verification, from Shatterproof later this month for the completion of the Treatment Data Survey.  The survey collection period is slated to run through January 2022. The average time to complete the survey ranges from 30 minutes to 2.5 hours to complete depending on the number of levels of care available at the facility and whether information was gathered from various individuals in advance. If you do not receive a contact verification email by Tuesday, November 2nd, please contact ATLAS@Shatterproof.org.

To learn more about the data collection process and be a part of the conversation, we encourage you to attend upcoming provider roundtables.

ATLAS Provider Roundtable Webinars

DDAP is not mandating participation in ATLAS.  However, it is strongly encouraged. Your involvement will not only lead to additional outreach for your organization, but more importantly it affords Pennsylvanians in need of drug and alcohol treatment the opportunity to find the care that is most appropriate for their needs. You can find more information on ATLAS, by visiting the website. For all other questions, please contact Kim Coleman, DDAP’s Chief of Staff at kcoleman@pa.gov or Angad Buttar, Shatterproof’s Director of State Engagement at abuttar@shatterproof.org.

We look forward to adding yet another tool in our toolbox for Pennsylvanians looking for the most appropriate drug and alcohol treatment and resources for themselves or a loved one. This can only happen by working with all of you to ensure the success of ATLAS, and most importantly, improving access to high-quality addiction treatment for all Pennsylvanians.

Jennifer S. Smith
Secretary 

10/6/2021 1:26 PMPolicy Bulletin 21-04 - Gambling Manual Modifications

​The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) released Policy Bulletin 21-04 which documents modifications made to DDAP’s Gambling Treatment Services Manual.

Policy Bulletin 21-04 and the updated manual can be found on the DDAP website.

9/30/2021 1:58 PMUPDATE: Regulatory Suspensions

​The department sent out guidance on June 14, 2021 regarding three temporary regulatory suspensions granted by the Governor’s declaration of a disaster emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic. House Bill 1861, which was signed into law today by Governor Wolf, further extends those regulatory suspensions from September 30, 2021 until March 31, 2022 unless terminated sooner. In addition to the suspensions noted in the department’s previous communication, one additional regulatory suspension from the Department of State, also relevant to the field, is added to the chart below and also suspended until March 31, 2022.

Statute/Regulation​Statute/Regulation PurposeWaiver benefit/explanation
​28 Pa. Code § 715.16(e)​Prohibits narcotic treatment programs (NTPs –methadone clinics) from permitting a patient to receive more than a 2-week take-home supply of medication​In response to COVID-19, SAMHSA is allowing up to 28 days of take-home medications for patients on stable dosages, if the physician deems appropriate.
​28 Pa. Code § 715.9(a)(4)​Requires NTPs to make a face-to-face determination before admission to treatment, for those clients who will receive buprenorphine treatment.​In response to COVID-19, SAMHSA is allowing initial evaluations for a patient who will be treated with buprenorphine to be completed via telehealth.
​28 Pa. Code § 715.6(d)​Requires NTPs to have narcotic treatment physician services onsite.​In response to COVID-19, SAMHSA is allowing initial evaluations for a patient who will be treated with buprenorphine to be completed via telehealth
​49 Pa. Code § 16.92(b)(1)
(Department of State)
​Before a patient can be prescribed any controlled substance in Pennsylvania, a person licensed to practice medicine and surgery in the commonwealth, or otherwise licensed or regulated by the State Board of Medicine, must take an initial medical history and conduct an initial physical examination,
unless emergency circumstances justify otherwise.
​In response to COVID-19, the Department of State suspended the initial medical history and physical examination requirement specifically for the treatment of opioid-use disorder with buprenorphine.


If you have any further questions, please contact the Bureau of Program Licensure at (717) 783-8675 or RA-licensuredivision@pa.gov.

9/20/2021 12:18 PMReminder of DDAP Address Change and Licensure Contacts

​The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) would like to remind the field that we have moved from the Kline Village Shopping Center to One Penn Center.  Please do not send mail or other relevant information to the 132 Kline Village Shopping Center address as we no longer have offices at that address.
 
DDAP’s mailing address:
One Penn Center
2601 N. 3rd Street, 5th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17110
 
Phone contacts:

  • The telephone number for the Bureau of Program Licensure is: (717) 783-8675.  This number can be used for questions, complaints and requests for additional information.  All calls will be forwarded by a receptionist to the appropriate staff member within DDAP.
  • The fax number for the Bureau of Program Licensure is (717) 265-8308.
  • Any non-licensing telephone calls (i.e., Training, Treatment Manuel, ASAM, Single County Authority) should call (717)783-8200.

 
Resource Accounts:

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