$500K grant to help project’s fight against substance use disorder

Recovery Is Community Northwest Pennsylvania — a grant project through the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program — provided an update during a recent meeting on grant intiatives with Hamot Health Foundation, in collaboration with other consortium partners.

It was announced the project, in its aim to broaden access to evidence-based treatment, prevention, and recovery supports for families struggling with substance use, received an additional $500,000 federal grant to specifically address psychostimulant use, which includes methamphetamine and cocaine, in Venango, Crawford and rural Erie counties.

The grant will mostly fund community training for the regional workforce on differential diagnoses for ADD/ADHD and awareness of the potential for misuse of prescription stimulant medications.

There will be additional funding for Deterra medication disposal pouches and education about proper medication disposal.

Another project that has been funded by the initiative is several Snapchat ads targeting young people.

Consortium director Angela Morton shared that the largest barrier to people getting substance use disorder care is stigma, according to a recent study. Secondary reasons are access to transportation and financial difficulties.

Morton has also been involved with a series of conversations on Stream Television, which are available to view on YouTube.

The featured speaker was Rachel Lee-Price, manager of Behavioral Health Clinical Services at Beacon Health Options of Pennsylvania Inc., who shared an overview of Beacon and reviewed its special programs.

The meeting also included recovery stories from Mark Louis, development officer at Hamot Health Foundation, and Samantha Hartle, outpatient nurse coordinator at Women’s Recovery Center at Magee Womens, UPMC Hamot.

The Recovery Is Community Northwest Pennsylvania initiative is hosting several events, including a series of Healthy Habits Free Roller Skating nights from 7 to 10 p.m. the first Thursday of the month, at the Skate Capital, 255 Old Salina Road, Seneca.

The first skate night was held Thursday, and future nights will include Sept. 1, Oct. 6, Nov. 3 and Dec. 1. The events include $10 “Capital Cash” per person to spend at the rink, and guidance on basic skating skills will be available. For more information, people can call (814) 518-2055.

The initiative is also hosting a Healthy Habits Pool Party from noon to 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26, at the James A. Nelles Memorial Pool, 151 Park Ave., Oil City. Space is limited. People can register by calling (814) 428-8860.

The Recovery Is Community Northwest Pennsylvania family picnic will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 18, at the UPMC Northwest Pavilion. Free lunch will be provided. There will also be games for the kids.

Another upcoming event sponsored by the initiative is a “Vigil of Hope” memorial from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, at the Oil City Library.


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