HARRISBURG, Pa., Aug. 31, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The departments of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) and Health held an event today at Gaudenzia Concept 90 to raise awareness for International Overdose Awareness Day to discuss the drug overdose crisis in Pennsylvania and help more Pennsylvanians with substance use disorder get treatment and focus on recovery through the Building Bridges to Recovery initiative.
"Far too many Pennsylvanians are dying every day to a disease that is fully treatable, if given the appropriate level and duration of treatment," said DDAP Secretary Gary Tennis. "Individuals with substance use disorder can and do recover; there are millions of Americans who have successfully found their pathway to live in recovery."
"The Department of Health views prescription drug abuse and the rise in heroin addiction as a public health crisis in Pennsylvania. This is the worst public health crisis I've seen in my 30 plus years working in this field," said DOH Secretary Dr. Karen Murphy, "We are committed to combating this very serious problem on a number of fronts, including making available the lifesaving drug naloxone, developing the prescription drug monitoring program and issuing guidelines for and providing training to medical professionals."
During the month of September, DDAP, in partnership with several local county drug and alcohol offices, will highlight the Building Bridges to Recovery initiative in order to break down the stigma that too often isolates individuals and family members who live silently with a drug and alcohol addiction.
A mural, painted by individuals in recovery at Gaudenzia, was unveiled at the event today representing Building Bridges to Recovery initiative to commemorate September as Recovery Month in Pennsylvania. Further, individuals that are in recovery shared their personal testimonials about recovery, addiction, overdose, and treatment. Both individuals are currently helping others in recovery.
All Pennsylvanians are encouraged to wear a purple and silver ribbon in honor of overdose awareness and recovery month and to attend events throughout the month being held by the local county drug and alcohol offices. To find a local event to attend, visit http://www.recoverymonth.gov/events/find-events.
"We must continue to focus on helping individuals seek treatment and get on the path to recovery," added Sec. Tennis.
Building Bridges to Recovery is a partnership between the Pennsylvania Advisory Council on Drug and Alcohol Abuse, the Pennsylvania Parent Panel Advisory Council, and DDAP.
For more information about Pennsylvania's Building Bridges to Recovery and for information on how to help, visit www.ddap.pa.gov/recovery.
MEDIA CONTACT: Carey Miller (DDAP), 717-547-3314
Amy Worden (DOH), 717-787-1783
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Health; Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs