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You are viewing a page that contains frequently added announcements.  Subscribe to our RSS feed to receive announcements as they become available. If you would like to be added to DDAP's listserv and receive updates from the department, please email with your name(s), organization, and email address(es). Please include "Listserv" in the subject line.

9/19/2018 12:13 PMFFY 2019 Substance Abuse Block Grant

The Federal Fiscal Year 2019 State Behavioral Health Assessment and Plan Mini-Application is available for viewing at, the site utilited for completion and submission of information to receive block grant funding. To access the various components of the application, log in as "citizenpa" and use "citizen" as your password.

Comments about the plan can be made:

7/20/2018 12:34 PMDDAP ASAM Listening Session Update

DDAP has made available the following updated information regarding the ASAM transition to its website:  a PowerPoint presented during the ASAM Listening Sessions an ASAM Application FAQ.  This FAQ includes questions presented during the 3 Listening Sessions as well as questions generated at a representative number of ASAM 2-day Skill Building trainings and provides answers to questions specifically about applying the ASAM to Pennsylvania’s SUD treatment system.”

6/18/2018 12:02 PMSAMHSA Releases Clinical Guidance to Help Enhance Understanding of Medications to Treat Opioid Use Disorder

​The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently published new clinical guidance to help expand health care professionals' knowledge of medications used to help treat opioid use disorder. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) 63 details methadone, naltrexone, and buprenorphine, all three of which are FDA-approved to treat opioid use disorder.

TIP 63 is available to download here​SAMHSA TIP 63.pdfSAMHSA TIP 63.pdf

6/14/2018 9:11 AMWomen Veterans Town Hall and Expo

​The Governor's Advisory Council on Veterans Services is hosting a free town hall and expo for women veterans on June 30, 2018 from 9 a.m.-noon. The event will offer information on programs and services available to women veterans and resources for attendees. 

The event will take place at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center at 950 Soldiers Drive in Carlisle. For more information, contact Crystal A. Petery at 717-861-6904 or by email at  

6/12/2018 11:40 AMSAMHSA's Recovery LIVE! Peer Supports for Young Adults

On Thursday, June 28, SAMHSA's Bring ​Recovery Supports to Scale Techincal Assistance Center Strategy (BRSS TACS) will host a conversation on peer supports for youth and young adults living with substance use disorders and mental illness. The conversation will include strategies for implementing and sustaining peer supports for young adults and will be led by leaders in this field from around the county. 

The webinar is free and will take place from 2-3 p.m. on June 28. More information:​

5/25/2018 4:25 PMLehigh Valley Health Network Youth Programming

​Lehigh Valley Health Network is training the next generation of first responders to help overdose victims and mark a successful warm hand-off to treatment. lVHN.png

5/22/2018 9:41 AMASAM Transition Update - May 21, 2018

Click here​ to read an ​update on the ASAM transition. 

5/10/2018 3:15 PMThe Opioid Crisis: The Clinician's Role and Treatment Practices - Pittsburgh, PA

​The Summit for Clinical Excellence will present The Opioid Crisis: The Clinician's Role and Treatment Practices rom June 25-26, 2018 at the Wyndham Grand in Downtown Pittsburgh. Participants will address strategies for addressing the opioid crisis and can earn up to 15.5 CE hours. For more information visit​. 

3/27/2018 4:11 PMASAM Transition Timeline

Read the latest timeline for Pennsylvania's transition to the ASAM Criteria, which includes activities to date, goals, and objectives: ASAM Transition Timeline 3-23-18.pdf​

2/28/2018 4:51 PMUpdates on Recovery House Licensing

​If you currently operate a recovery house or are thinking about operating a recovery house, DDAP is keeping interested stakeholders informed as it develops regulations to license recovery houses. See the links below for more information. 

Changes Coming to Pennsylvania Recovery Houses.pdfChanges Coming to Pennsylvania Recovery Houses.pdf

Keep Me Informed on Recovery House Regulations.pdfKeep Me Informed on Recovery House Regulations.pdf

2/27/2018 4:35 PMFebraury 2018 ASAM Transition Update

​Please see the attached PDF for an update on Pennsylvania's transition to the ASAM Criteria. 

February 2018 ASAM Transition Update​

1/10/2018 10:41 AMOffice Relocation

Valued Stakeholders and Council Members,

As some of you may know, staff from the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs has been spread across three different Harrisburg offices since we officially became a department in 2012. Beginning January 16, the department’s employees working in Harrisburg will move into One Penn Center located at 2601 N. Third Street in Harrisburg.
We are all very excited to operate in a new space under one roof, and I speak for many of us by saying that I look forward to new opportunities for collaboration and productivity that will come from working in one space. Phone numbers and other email contact information for the department will remain the same after the move, and staff will be in touch with changes to their individual mailing addresses.
Department staff is currently hard at work packing their current spaces, and the move will officially begin Thursday, January 11. During this period, we may experience technical disruptions and be inaccessible by phone or email for periods of time. Staff will do their best to return messages as quickly as possible, but we appreciate patience as we make this significant change and settle into the new office space.
I look forward to welcoming you all to this space, which includes a large space for in-person training opportunities. Again, I appreciate your patience and consideration as we make this transition.
Thank you,
Jennifer Smith
Acting Secretary
12/29/2017 8:38 AMDDAP New Feature - More on Mondays

See attachment for information released regarding the kick-off event for National Recovery Month.


More on Mondays 8-7-2017.pdf 


12/22/2017 11:04 AMSynar Announcement

The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs has prepared the 2018 Annual Synar Report which is available for review by visiting Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block (SAPTB) Grant -- To view Pennsylvania's SAPTB grant application and reporting, enter "citizenpa" for the user name and "citizen" for the password.

11/22/2017 12:26 PMASAM Criteria Transition

​Attached please find correspondence from Acting Secretary Jennifer Smith regarding the ASAM Criteria transition as well as an ASAM FAQ.

11/16/2017 9:54 AMNew Training Material about Women Veterans Released

Women are enlisting in the U.S. military at an unprecedented rate. They currently make up around 16 percent of the active duty force, which is the highest rate since the all volunteer force went into effect in 1973. In addition, there are approximately 2 million women veterans in America.
We thank those who have valiantly served our country through the military, and we strive to meet the continuing needs of veterans.
To help behavioral health providers better serve women veterans, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) just released additional material for the Training Tool Box for Addressing the Gender-specific Service Needs of Women with Substance Use Disorders that focuses on this population. The Training Tool Box is a resource that:
  • Serves as a launching board that trainers can use to develop informative, evidence-based trainings about the gender-specific needs of women with substance use disorders (SUDs); and
  • Enables trainers to customize workforce learning through fully designed PowerPoint slides, talking points, activities, case studies, resources, and references.
The new supplemental slides can be used to better educate the workforce about women veterans who have SUDs. Featured topics include characteristics of women veterans and current service members, protective and risk factors for SUDs, the needs of women veterans, and recommendations for providers who serve women veterans.
To access the women veterans slides and the full Training Tool Box, go to SAMHSA's Women, Children, and Families Training and Technical Assistance website.
Other related educational resources available on the website include the following:
  • Relationships Matter! a webinar series on women's behavioral health that explores the role of relationships in the lives of women experiencing mental health and substance use issues;
  • Women Matter! a webinar series that presents current research, best practice, and critical thinking about topics professionals need to know when working with women who have substance use disorders;
  • Girls Matter! a webinar series that offers research, best practices, and critical thinking on topics that professionals working with girls and young women must know; and
  • Introduction to Women and Substance Use Disorders, a 12-hour, self-paced course developed by SAMHSA that helps counselors and other practitioners working with women better understand women's substance use, treatment, and recovery experiences and effective interventions for women.
All four of these resources provide the option for continuing education credits and can be found on the SAMHSA Women, Children, and Families Training and Technical Assistance website's Trainings page.
We honor all veterans today and thank them for their service!
10/10/2017 4:02 PMWorkshop:  You Are Not Alone: A Workshop for Families Affected by Substance Use and Addiction

This is a free family workshop coming up on October 14 sponsored by Bridge To Hope and Passavant Hospital Foundation.  Below are links to information on the seminar:

Details, agenda and presenters can be accessed at this link:  10.14.17 SUD Family Workshop<>
Pre-registration (with name and email address of each person attending) is requested by October 11 to (412) 748-5120 or<>.
8/16/2017 12:10 PMPreventing Occupational Fentanyl and Fentanyl Analog Exposure to Emergency Responders

The position of the American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT) and American Academy of Clinical Toxicology (AACT), is as follows: Fentanyl and its analogs are potent opioid receptor agonists, but the risk of clinically significant exposure to emergency responders is extremely low. To date, we have not seen reports of emergency responders developing signs or symptoms consistent with opioid toxicity from incidental contact with opioids.

You can access the ACMT and AACT Position Statement and full article at:
7/26/2017 12:49 PMPolicy Bulletin 17-02 - DDAP Prevention Manual Modifications

Please see attached Policy Bulletin 17-02​.

7/7/2017 1:47 PMJune Edition - The Phoenix Newsletter

The June edition of The Phoenix newsletter is now available online.

6/19/2017 9:51 AMPolicy Bulletin 17-01: Historical TEDS Data Entry in PA WITS

​See attached for Policy Bulletin 17-01

6/19/2017 9:45 AMMedical Assistance Application Guide

The PA Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs is re-issuing a Medical Assistance Application Guide which can be found at the following link:  This guide will assist providers and individuals in applying for Medical Assistance.

5/31/2017 3:01 PMDDAP Monthly Newsletter

DDAP announces the release of a new monthly newsletter: The Phoenix Newsletter – 1st Edition. 

Please read it and send your feedback. We’d also like to include your stories. Please send both to Carol Gifford, editor, at  
Thank you.
5/17/2017 12:58 PMPA WITS Go-Live Kick Off

The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) is excited to announce the official go-live for the new DDAP Data System (PA WITS) on May 22, 2017.  This version of the PA WITS system is being implemented two-months ahead of schedule for the purposes of collecting TEDS data since September 1, 2015.
We invite you to join a live streaming webcast to kick-off the first day of your access to PA WITS.  The webcast will be presented by DDAP project leaders covering important topics including:  policy requirements, e-Training, and how to gain access.  The webcast will be recorded and available for viewing at a later date.
View the webcast at this link on May 22nd at 11 AM: 
4/26/2017 11:21 AMAvailability of Free Grief Support Groups

A PA Advisory Council on Drug and Alcohol Abuse subcommittee is compiling information on the availability of free grief support groups statewide that are specifically tailored for parents, siblings, spouses, etc. that have lost a loved one to addiction. If you are aware of any such groups, please send the information to Council member Jennifer Zampogna at  

4/14/2017 9:58 AMWebinar on the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s (ASAM) Criteria for Clinical and Program Standards

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is hosting a webinar entitled “Introduction to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) Criteria for Clinical and Program Standards.” The webinar will provide an overview of the substance use disorder treatment care continuum and standards described in the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) Criteria. The webinar will provide an overview of all the ASAM Criteria levels of care, and then focus specifically on complex levels of care, including withdrawal management, early intervention, partial hospitalization, and clinically managed low-intensity residential services. The webinar will be held on Wednesday, April 19th from 3:30pm– 5:00pm EST. 
Register for the webinar here.
4/12/2017 8:19 AMFrequently Asked Questions

In preparing for the statewide transition from the Pennsylvania Client Placement Criteria (PCPC) to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) Criteria, DDAP has prepared the attached list of Frequently Asked Questions which is also available on its website at the following location: .  Additional questions that are not currently addressed by the FAQ can be submitted to and updates will be made to the website on a regular basis.
4/6/2017 2:43 PMDEA National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day - Toolkit Available

The new toolkit of fliers, posters, brochures, Web ads, and other materials that are typically made available to help advertise the DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is now live at  The material is under the “Partnership Toolbox” button on the right-hand side.

Please feel free to pass this info along to your partnering organizations in drug abuse prevention so they can use these toolkit items, push them out to others, and help spread the word about the upcoming take-back day on April 29.
​DDAP has, in consultation with the Governor’s Policy Office and the Office of General Counsel, weighed our options for continuing the use of our PCPC (Pennsylvania Client Placement Criteria) tool for determining the appropriate level of care for an individual seeking treatment or already within our treatment system.  After weighing the options, we have decided that the benefits of using a customized tool no longer exceed the benefits of using the nationally recognized ASAM (American Society of Addiction Medicine) tool.  One reason for the transition stems from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Medicaid Managed Care Final Rule that was issued last summer, which will limit federal reimbursement for residential treatment of Medicaid recipients to 15 days.  In response to that rule, and specifically the provision related to the IMD exclusion, Pennsylvania aims to better position ourselves in submitting a 1115 waiver to CMS related to the IMD exclusion.  The 1115 waiver application requires the use of the ASAM tool.  This issue surrounding the IMD exclusion is not the only reason for making the change, however. The newly acquired treatment data system is already equipped with the ASAM continuum of care which will make this new system more usable with fewer modifications, which limits the risk of future system maintenance issues.  Additionally, because the ASAM is currently utilized for placement decisions related to adolescents, and by many commercial insurance providers for both adults as well as adolescents, converting to this tool will create consistency for providers and payers across the treatment system.
While there are multiple advantages to this conversion, we understand that it will not come without its challenges.  We have a team of employees who are currently in the process of establishing a strategic plan for transitioning from the PCPC to the ASAM and will be gathering input from stakeholders and establish a workable process that moves us to the use of the ASAM over time, with the goal of full implementation occurring by July 2018.  I will continue to keep you posted on the progress and impacts of this effort.  I would ask that this become a standing agenda item in our meetings with your membership.
1/18/2017 10:19 AMPA Hepatitis C Epidemiologic Profile

Please find a link to the PA Department of Health’s Hepatitis C webpage which includes the PA Hepatitis C Epidemiologic Profile 2003-2014.


Hepatitis C Epidemiologic Profile in Pennsylvania


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