Harrisburg, PA – The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) announced Secretary Jen Smith has been awarded the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Director’s (NASADAD) State Service Award which recognizes leaders of state agencies responsible for substance use disorder services who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in their respective state.
“I am honored to have been chosen by my colleagues for this award,” said Smith. “I am so proud of the work that we have accomplished and continue to do in Pennsylvania to combat the addiction crisis. With the increase in overdoses that we’re seeing, our work is nowhere near done. We will continue to do everything in our power to reduce stigma and enhance the quality of drug and alcohol services for individuals and families struggling with this disease.”
Under Smith’s leadership, DDAP has placed a heavy focus on strengthening Pennsylvania’s drug and alcohol treatment landscape by:
- Increasing the availability of prescription drug take-back boxes across more than 880 locations,
- Launching Pennsylvania’s Get Help Now Hotline and directly connecting more than 43,000 Pennsylvanians with substance use disorder treatment since 2016,
- Expanding access to naloxone in communities around Pennsylvania,
- Implementing Warm Handoff Programs across 95 percent of Pennsylvania’s hospitals helping overdose survivors directly transition into substance use disorder treatment, and
- Increasing access to medication-assisted treatment and treatment for uninsured and underinsured individuals with substance use disorder.
Smith was selected as the Region 3 NASADAD Board representative in 2019 and again in 2021. In 2020, Smith was elected Secretary of the NASADAD Board. The board is comprised of 18 individuals elected by association members in their region for two-year terms. The group meets four times annually and serves as a critical advocacy group on Washington D.C.’s Capitol Hill for drug and alcohol policy and legislation.
“I look forward to continuing to collaborate with other states through my role on the NASADAD board to develop initiatives that help all of us improve our treatment systems,” Smith said. “Through collaboration we can better anticipate trends and develop policies proactively. We all have the same common goal and that is to help our communities and constituents live happy, healthy lives.”
For more information on NASADAD, visit here.
Find more information on the state’s efforts to battle the opioid crisis here.