Wolf wants $34 million for substance abuse-treatment centers

    Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf speaks during a news conference at the Temple University Lewis Katz School of Medicine in Philadelphia Thursday. Wolf discussed his $34 million budget request to fight the state's opioid epidemic. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

    Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf speaks during a news conference at the Temple University Lewis Katz School of Medicine in Philadelphia Thursday. Wolf discussed his $34 million budget request to fight the state's opioid epidemic. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

    As part of his proposed budget, Gov. Tom Wolf is requesting $34 million to deal with the opioid epidemic gripping Pennsylvania.

    The money would fund 50 substance abuse-treatment centers around the state. If approved by state lawmakers, the U.S. would kick in an additional $16 million toward the initiative.

    Wolf said 11,250 people would receive care at the centers offering chemical and cognitive therapy, as well as other individualized services.

    “These centers of excellence are really essentially outpatient homes all across the state, that would bring people in to treat their substance use disorder disease after they’ve been released from intensive care,” Wolf said at a news conference at Temple University Thursday morning.  

    In the last budget year, Wolf proposed that $7.5 million go to the Departments of Drug and Alcohol Programs and Human Services for programs related to the opioid epidemic. (According to his office, the final budget included $3.5 million for the Department of Drugs and Alcohol Programs and $1.5 million  for a county pilot program through the Department of Corrections.) He’s again asking for the $7.5 million, in addition to the $34 million for this year.

    A spokeswoman for Sen. President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati said dealing with the opioid epidemic remains a priority for the senator, but added that any exact dollar amount for specific programs remains under negotiation.  

    The new fiscal year begins July 1. 

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