Merski, Harkins: up to $400,000 secured to help residents battling substance use disorders

ERIE, May 9 – New funding of up to $400,000 will expand resources for area residents battling substance use disorders, state Reps. Bob Merski and Pat Harkins announced today.

The lawmakers, both D-Erie, said the funding from the state Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs will go to Bethany Christian of Western PA to expand resources for residents in Erie and Crawford counties.

“Despite dedicated professionals and a supportive community network, we still are not making the inroads we need to be making when it comes to fighting substance use disorders,” Merski said. “The new funding – along with recently announced funding for development of a recovery hub – brings reason for hope because it will allow us to develop new evidence-based programs, expand those that are working, and broaden community outreach and education.”

Harkins said, “As important a role family and community can play, we need to be bringing additional resources to this fight. The additional DDAP funding will allow us to expand resources like medication-assisted treatment, recovery and peer supports and other supports that can help return more folks to their families and productive lives in our community.”

The funding – which is provided from the opioid settlement funds appropriated to DDAP by the General Assembly – is for a 12-month period beginning July 1, through June 30, 2024.  Funds may be applied toward a range of activities, including construction, and building infrastructure, staffing and evidence-based programming.