Pennsylvania News: Wolf Administration Awards Nearly $1 Million in Grants to Higher Education Institutions for Opioid Prevention

Harrisburg, PA (STL.News) Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced Wednesday that the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) is awarding nearly $1 million in federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grants to prevent and reduce the use of opioids by college students and to create naloxone training opportunities for post-secondary institutions.

The grants are part of the $55.9 million SAMSHA grantOpens In A New Window secured by the Wolf Administration to bolster the state’s response to the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic.

“We consistently attack the state’s opioid crisis from all angles, and this grant will enable additional focus on an integral part of our work – prevention,” Gov. Wolf said.  “Educating college students on the risk of opioid use and training institutions of higher learning on how to administer naloxone are two ways we can save lives and lessen the impact of this crisis.”

“We have learned from the opioid crisis that substance use disorder does not discriminate and one of our hardest hit demographics are traditionally college-aged Pennsylvanians age 18-30,” said DDAP Secretary Jen Smith.  “The commonwealth’s unprecedented amount of federal funding has allowed us to take a comprehensive look at our prevention programs for secondary and post-secondary institutions and identify gaps in our system.  This is the first of many steps the administration will be taking in strengthening prevention and awareness for adolescents in Pennsylvania.”

The funding will be directed to 13 higher education institutions through grant agreements up to $100,000.  Awardees will expand existing preventive programs and partner with key local stakeholders to develop and implement new projects.  Projects may include raising campus awareness, reducing stigma, increasing access to overdose reversal trainings, and grief support.