Bartolotta Praises Designation of CARE Center in Washington as DHS Center of Excellence

WASHINGTON — Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46) welcomed the designation of the CARE Center in Washington as a Center of Excellence, which will enable local individuals who are struggling with addiction to receive expanded treatment options.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) recently announced that the CARE Center would be licensed and would receive a portion of the additional $15 million in funding approved by lawmakers to help treat the opioid and heroin addiction crisis. The funding from DHS will help expand treatment options and coordinate care so those who suffer from addiction have the best chance to overcome the disease.

The organization will receive a $330,000 grant at the beginning of the program, and an additional $170,000 will be awarded after six months of operation if specific performance measures are achieved.

Almost 2,500 Pennsylvanians died of overdoses in 2014. Pennsylvania leads the nation in the number of drug overdoses among men aged 12-25 and ranks ninth nationwide in the total number of overdose cases. Communities in southwest Pennsylvania have been especially impacted by the addiction crisis over the past several years, Bartolotta said.

“The statistics regarding addiction and overdose deaths in our communities are troubling, but they do not even begin to tell the story of how this crisis has affected family, friends and loved ones who have suffered a personal tragedy due to this terrible affliction,” Bartolotta said. “I am extremely thankful that this funding will give local families more and better treatment options, and I will continue to work with all interested parties to develop new strategies to combat this deadly public health crisis.”

Bartolotta has already introduced legislation to regulate the prescription of controlled substances in hospital emergency rooms, and she recently announced plans to introduce legislation to give prosecutors new tools to punish drug dealers and suppliers who cause serious bodily injury due to an overdose.

CONTACT: Colleen Greer (717) 787-1463