Bucks County lawmakers announce $306,254 grant for criminal justice diversion programs for opioid use disorder

HARRISBURG, Feb. 18 – State Reps. John Galloway and Perry Warren announced the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs will award a $306,254 grant for the implementation of new criminal justice diversion programs and the expansion of existing programs in Bucks County for individuals with opioid use disorder.

“Incarcerating addicts fails to address the actual problem and is a blight on people’s records,” Galloway said. “We want our neighbors struggling with opioid addiction to get all the help they can. That’s why I’m very glad that this grant money will help provide for alternatives to incarceration and potentially get more people into treatment and recovery.”

Galloway is a major proponent of Push Out the Pusher, a program aimed at getting rid of the drug pushers in neighborhoods.

“Opioid addiction has hit our communities hard,” Warren said. “This grant will help our communities work toward solutions -- recovery and treatment -- instead of punishments.”

Bucks County was one of seven Single County Authorities to be awarded almost $1.5 million in federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grants Tuesday.

SCAs will use the funding to implement new programs or expand programs like the PA Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program. Through this program, anyone can walk into a participating police department and ask for help in the treatment of a substance abuse disorder. The expanded program has been implemented in Somerset, Carbon and -- most recently -- Schuylkill counties.

The grants are part of a $55.9 million SAMSHA grant secured by Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration to bolster the state’s response to the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic.