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Announcements

To be added to DDAP's listserv and receive updates from the department, please email RA-DAPressOffice@pa.gov with your name(s), organization, and email address(es). Please include "Listserv" in the subject line.


  
  
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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:

9/2/2021 1:29 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) 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.

9/1/2021 11:50 AMNew DDAP Licensing Alert and Information Bulletin

​The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) released Licensing Alert 02-2021 and Information Bulletin 03-21 regarding Emergency Contact Notification.

Licensing Alert 02-2021
Emergency Contact Notification by Inpatient Drug and Alcohol Treatment Facilities

Information Bulletin 03-21
Emergency Contact Notification by Drug and Alcohol Recovery Houses

8/4/2021 10:50 AMPolicy Bulletin 21-03 - DDAP Manual Modifications

​The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) released Policy Bulletin 21-03 which documents modifications made to DDAP’s Fiscal Manual and Operations Manual.

Policy Bulletin 21-03 and updated manuals can be found on the DDAP website.

8/2/2021 1:30 PMInformation Bulletin 02-21 - Updated SAMHSA term and condition for marijuana

Information Bulletin 02-21 - This Information Bulletin provides updates on Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) term and condition for marijuana.

7/29/2021 2:05 PMPolicy Bulletin 21-02 - DDAP Manual Modifications

​The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) released Policy Bulletin 21-02 which documents modifications made to DDAP’s Prevention Manual, Fiscal Manual, Operations Manual, and Case Management and Clinical Services Manual.

Policy Bulletin 21-02 and updated manuals can be found on the DDAP website.

7/1/2021 3:36 PMReminder: Electronic Reporting System (ERS)

​The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) would like to remind drug and alcohol treatment facilities of the availability of the Electronic Reporting System (ERS). This new system makes it easier to submit unusual incident reports to DDAP licensing staff for review. Please see this brochure for additional information.

Please note: When logging into the ERS for the first time, you must reset your password. Simply enter your Login ID and click the password reset button. Once you’ve logged into ERS, you will be directed to a Welcome Page with helpful information about how to use ERS.

If you experience technical issues with ERS, please email RA-DAWORKFLOW@pa.gov.

6/29/2021 11:47 AMASAM Alignment – Provider Requests for Extension

​This ASAM Alignment Memorandum establishes a procedure for drug and alcohol treatment providers to request from the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs additional time beyond July 1, 2021 in reaching substantial alignment with service delivery conditions under The ASAM Criteria, 2013.

Questions regarding this memorandum can be directed to RA-DAASAM@pa.gov.  

6/16/2021 10:58 AMLicensing Alert 01-2021

​Licensing Alert 01-2021 - Use of Medication for Treatment of Substance Use Disorder within Licensed Facilities
This alert provides clarification on the requirements that licensed providers must meet to use certain medications including methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone.

Questions on this Licensing Alert can be sent to the Bureau of Program Licensure, Division of Licensing Inspection at (717)783-8675 or RA-licensuredivision@pa.gov.

6/14/2021 4:32 PMUpdate on Regulatory Suspensions

​Good afternoon,

As you may know, the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Program (DDAP) has issued three temporary regulatory suspensions under authority granted by the Governor’s declaration of a disaster emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic. Based on flexibilities granted by SAMHSA, our goal with these suspensions was to respond to the extraordinary circumstances of the last year by allowing entities regulated by DDAP to continue operating throughout the uncertainty of the pandemic.  
On June 10, 2021, the General Assembly passed House Resolution 106 which terminated the Disaster Declaration in whole, effective immediately. However, Governor Wolf signed Act 21 of 2021 on June 11, 2021 to ensure regulatory and statutory suspensions enacted under the Disaster Declaration would continue. Act 21 extends all of the regulatory and statutory suspensions authorized under the Disaster Declaration until September 30, 2021.  More information on Act 21 is outlined in this press release from the Governor.

In the table below you will find the three regulations in which DDAP suspended utilizing the Disaster Declaration. We would like to reiterate that these suspended regulations will continue to be in place until September 30, 2021.

​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.


In the coming weeks, we will continue to work with SAMHSA and solicit feedback on the best way to move forward with these suspended regulations to ensure that the drug and alcohol treatment field is able to provide necessary services to patients in the safest, most effective way possible.

Thank you all for your continued work to help better the lives of Pennsylvanians with substance use disorder.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Bureau of Program Licensure, Division of Licensing Inspection at (717) 783-8675 or RA-licensuredivision@pa.gov.


6/2/2021 3:11 PMInformation Bulletin 01-21

Information Bulletin 01-21 - This Information Bulletin provides clarification from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) on special conditions for federal funding related to medical marijuana.

5/4/2021 1:35 PMHHS Releases New Buprenorphine Practice Guidelines

​HHS Releases New Buprenorphine Practice Guidelines, Expanding Access to Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder

On April 28, 2021, in an effort to get evidenced-based treatment to more Americans with opioid use disorder, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released new buprenorphine practice guidelines that among other things, remove a longtime requirement tied to training, which some practitioners have cited as a barrier to treating more people.

Signed by HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, the Practice Guidelines for the Administration of Buprenorphine for Treating Opioid Use Disorder exempt eligible physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified registered nurse anesthetists, and certified nurse midwives from federal certification requirements related to training, counseling, and other ancillary services that are part of the process for obtaining a waiver to treat up to 30 patients with buprenorphine.

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