Pennsylvania will have a new state department, the first addition since 1995, beginning July 1.
The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs was established by a measure Gov. Ed Rendell signed into law last year.
Sponsor Gene DiGirolamo, a Bucks County Republican, said the new agency won’t cost extra tax dollars.
On the contrary, it’s about saving money, he said.
“It’s about public safety. But I think it’s about saving lives. And it happens every day in every one of our communities across this great state,” he said.
DiGirolamo said the department will save lives by making treatment programs more accessible.
The operation, which will begin with about 10 staffers, is currently a branch of the state Health Department.