Pills, photo to illustrate opioid crisis.
A rising epidemic. Photo: DiamondRehabThailand — Pixabay.

$3.2 million to address the opioid crisis in Pennsylvania

The resources authorized by the Biden administration will be allocated to rural communities.


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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced $3,299,862 in grants to rural Pennsylvania communities to support key strategies to respond to the risk of overdose by fentanyl and other opioids.

Carole Johnson, HRSA administrator, pointed out in a press release:

Far too many rural families have faced the devastation of overdose, and these deaths are felt deeply across rural communities -- where often everyone knows someone lost too soon.

With the aim of promoting President Joe Biden's commitment to defeat this epidemic, which is part of his Unity Agenda for the nation, this important aid seeks to reduce the number of fatalities in the region.

Public Health Drama

According to data provided by HRSA, “across the country, more than 100,000 people die each year from drug overdoses."

They also note that people who call rural communities home and who have opioid use disorder (including fentanyl, heroin, or other opioids) may face difficulties accessing treatment and recovery services.

“Geographic isolation and transportation barriers can make finding treatment particularly challenging and limited mental health and substance use disorder health care providers in the community can further complicate access,” highlights the release.

For its part, the organization believes that the stigma of substance use disorder and its treatments are additional barriers to access, which is why it has allocated funds to help communities address these critical needs and expand access to services.


The announcement includes the following investments in Pennsylvania:

  • Supporting Rural Communities in Preventing and Responding to Overdoses: $300,000 will support one award to help rural communities respond to their specific and immediate needs, including the distribution of life-saving opioid overdose reversal medications.
  • Meeting the Behavioral Health Needs of Young People: $1,000,000 will support one award to focus on building, strengthening and expanding mental health and substance use disorder services for young people in rural communities to expand treatment and help prevent overdose.
  • Preventing and Addressing Neonatal Exposure: $1,999,862 will support four awards to develop and implement interventions in rural communities to prevent, treat and care for opioid exposed infants by focusing on systems of care, family supports, and social determinants of health.

“At the Health Resources and Services Administration, we know that funding based on population size or other broad-based rubrics can miss the vital treatment and response needs of rural communities. That’s why the investments we are announcing today are targeted to rural communities and tailored to the unique challenges of helping rural health care leaders expand access to treatment and build recovery pathways to prevent overdose,” concluded Johnson.

To see the full list of awardees, click here.


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