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Pennsylvania gets more federal aid to fight opioid crisis

The Associated Press

HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration is getting another $26.5 million in federal aid to help fight the opioid addiction epidemic and says one focus will be to establish more medication-assisted treatment programs in rural areas.

FILE - This Aug. 15, 2017, file photo shows an arrangement of pills of the opioid oxycodone-acetaminophen, also known as Percocet, in New York. Health data firm IQVIA's Institute for Human Data Science released a report Thursday, April 19, 2018, showing an 8.9 percent average drop nationwide in the number of prescriptions for opioids filled in 2017 by retail and mail-order pharmacies, which fill the bulk of prescriptions. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison, File)

Secretary Jennifer Smith of Wolf’s Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs also said Wednesday that county agencies that get some of the money will be freer to use it on prevention programs.

Smith says federal aid that the state distributed to county public health agencies last year was more heavily restricted for treatment programs.

Wolf’s administration last year used federal aid to help set up four medication-assisted treatment programs through regional healthsystems. Smith says she expects the administration will try to establish three or four more regional programs, with a focus on rural areas.