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September is Recovery Month

What is Recovery Month?

September is Recovery Month, a celebration of the power and hope of recovery. Millions of Americans battle mental health and substance use disorders each year, but recovery is possible.

Recovery Month celebrates those living in recovery, as well as the dedicated workers who provide prevention, treatment, and support services to help make recovery possible.

When families, friends, and communities come together to support access to quality treatment, celebrate the hope of recovery, and dispel the stigma and shame often associated with mental health and substance use disorders, we can change the conversation and make it easier for individuals and families to embrace recovery.

Join us in celebrating the transformative possibilities that can be achieved with treatment and recovery. Attend a local event, educate yourself about mental health and substance use disorders, learn about individuals who are living in recovery, share resources with someone who may need help or support, or share your own personal story of recovery. There are many ways to participate and make a positive impact on your community during Recovery Month and beyond.

Prevention works. Treatment is effective. There is hope in recovery, for everyone.

SAMHSA National Helpline
1-800-662-HELP (4357)

Nuestras prioridades, nuestro trabajo

Combating mental health and substance use disorders must continue to be a priority at the national, state, and local levels.

Here’s what we are working on:

What we have done
  • Enacted a best-in-the-country medical marijuana law to combat many medical conditions.
  • Among them are chronic pain and other conditions that are typically treated with opioids. According to one study, between 2000 and 2010 opioid-related fatalities and reductions in treatment admissions in states with medical marijuana dispensaries declined by about 20 percent.
  • Redesigned the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program to reduce doctorshopping, combat pill mills, and remove non-addictive drugs from the registry.
  • Expanded and worked to protect Medicaid – helping over 125,000 people get treatment.
  • Established 45 Centers of Excellence treatment programs that will allow nearly 11,000 Pennsylvanians to receive care.
  • Expanded the drug-take back program to 700 boxes, destroying 300,000 pounds of drugs.
  • Made naloxone available to all Pennsylvanians and provided state money to first responders and law enforcement to gain access to additional supplies.
  • Created a childhood education program to instruct students on the dangers of opioids and heroin.
  • Created ten sets of prescribing guidelines to assist health care professionals.
  • Worked with Pennsylvania’s medical schools to create new curricula on opioids.
  • Started a help hotline to connect individuals seeking treatment.
  • Limited the number of opioids that can be prescribed to a minor or ER patient.
  • Provided $2 million to expand specialty drug courts.
  • Began regulating and certifying recovery houses to ensure patients are receiving
  • appropriate care.
  • Introduced legislation that would mandate the reporting of any infant born with an addiction to opioids and make it easier for state officials to use data to understand communities most impacted by the epidemic and better utilize resources and prevention strategies.
  • Announced Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP)funding for programs and organizations that support addiction education, treatment, and recovery.
  • Held hearings throughout the state to better understand how the opioid epidemic is impacting communities, families and individuals who can benefit from treatment and recovery.
Mental Health-Related Legislation 2023-2024


  • SB 326 (Street): This bill would require all state forms which collect demographic information to contain a voluntary LGBTQ+ identifier question for respondents to answer in order to collect data that would allow the Commonwealth to better address mental health disparities linked to societal stigma, discrimination, substance abuse, and mental health disorders.
  • SB 370 (Street): This bill would award grants to non-profit organizations and local governments for health care, cultural competency, computer training, job placement, social activities, and other programs that specifically help the LGBTQ+ senior community to meet their unmet mental health and socioeconomic needs.
  • SB 605 (Collett): This bill would turn the suggestions of the Behavioral Health Commission on Adult Mental Health into actionable legislation, giving $37 million to workforce development, $23.5 million to improve the criminal justice system and public safety systems, $39 million to expand mental health care access and service delivery, and $500,000 to evaluate the overall impact of the appropriations.
  • SB 764 (Santarsiero): This bill would require schools to implement at least one hour, or a standard class period, per year of suicide prevention training, violence prevention training, and social inclusion training to students in grades six through twelve.
  • SB 294 (Kearney and Santarsiero): This bill would require that Pennsylvania’s insurers cover effective care for treating eating disorders and the underlying issues that cause them.
  • SB 51 (Dem Caucus): This bill would codify federal essential health benefits (EHB) into state law, which includes a variety of healthcare services including “mental health and substance use disorder services including behavioral health treatment”.
  • SB 22 (Hughes and Phillips-Hill): This bill would require consent from a parent or legal guardian for anyone under 16 to open a social media account, notify parents or legal guardians if a child under 16 opens a social media account without proper consent, prohibit data mining for any user under 18, allow individuals to request deletion of information collected or obtained while the individual was under 18, and create a cause of action for parents or legal guardians of minors against social media companies for harm to their children. Hughes and Phillips-Hill hope this legislation will “protect minors and their mental health from social media”.
  • SR 122 (Cappelletti, Muth, Schwank, Collett): This resolution would bring attention to the need for Fourth Trimester physical and mental health care and raise awareness of the attendant benefits for both mothers and infants by designating May 26th as the Fourth Trimester Care Day.
  • SR 102 (Tartaglione): This resolution would designate May 2023 as “Trauma Awareness Month” and May 25th, 2023 as “Trauma Awareness Day” in Pennsylvania.
  • SB 387 (Schwank): This bill would allow two mental health days per semester as an excused absence. As is the custom, a parental note would be required for the missed day not to be counted as a pattern of truancy.
  • SB 89 (Muth): This bill would bring the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) and the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) together to help veterans who are experiencing homelessness or are at imminent risk of experiencing homelessness. The DMVA would be authorized to require veterans to participate in mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment, job training, or other supportive programs as a condition of participation in its program.
  • SB 874 (Dillon, Tartaglione, Kane): would allow qualified SUD counselors to receive student loan forgiveness. This same opportunity will be extended to Mental Health and Intellectual Disability personnel who commit to a term of at least 4 years of service in the Commonwealth. This would aim to increase the number of qualified SUD counselors and mental health practitioners in the PA workforce.

The following bills are to be introduced:

  • Co-sponsorship Memo (L. Williams): School Counseling Services Act, a companion to HB662 sponsored by Representatives Dan L. Miller and Mandy Steele. This bill would require that schools develop a robust and comprehensive school counseling plan and requires that school counselors spend at least 80% of their working time engaged in direct and indirect student services when students are in school.
  • Co-sponsorship Memo (Kane and Cappelletti): This bill would empower local school boards to determine the scope and duration of the required unit of internet safety instruction, which should be taught at least once each school year to students in kindergarten through grade twelve to help ease the social media-related youth mental health crisis.
  • Co-sponsorship Memo (Boscola and Schwank): This bill would authorize the Commonwealth to join the National Counseling Compact, which would widen the spectrum of professional physical and mental health services in order to support and provide relief in our communities.
  • Co-sponsorship Memo (Muth): This bill would designate June 2023 as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month in Pennsylvania.



Opioid-Related Legislation 2023-2024
  • SB 165 (Tartaglione) – This bill would ban the implementation of any safe injection sites – also known as safe consumption spaces or overdose prevention sites – throughout the Commonwealth.
  • SB 391 (Schwank) – This bill would create an Emergency Addiction Treatment Program under the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs to expand treatment space at existing long-term residential addiction treatment facilities and licensed halfway homes, and brand-new facilities. The program will also provide for new intake methods to help get information to the addicted, their families and friends, including advice and assistance in accessing treatment, and to collect data to identify patterns of addiction.
  • SB 627 (Brewster) – This bill would prohibit opioid prescriptions of more than 100 milligrams of morphine or the equivalent each day. This portion of the plan mirrors a law now in force in Maine that restricts opioid prescriptions and builds on guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and state medical board guidelines.
  • SB 875-879 (Tartaglione, Dillon, Kane) – These bills would help prevent addiction and assist with recovery by increasing recruitment and retention within the recovery workforce, strengthening the referral link between health care professionals at the point of care and drug and alcohol addiction treatment associations, assuring that purchasers of insurance are able to access coverage for addiction treatment already included in their health plan, and improving data collection and public transparency by requiring insurers to report on the provision of drug and alcohol addiction treatment.
  • SR 151 (Kane, Robinson, Tartaglione) – This resolution would recognize the last full week in July

(July 23-29, 2023) as “Construction Opioid Awareness Week.”

  • SR 142 (Kane, Kearney) – This resolution would recognize August 31, 2023 as Overdose Awareness Day in Pennsylvania. In addition to recognizing this day, the resolution urges the Governor to fly flags at half-staff at all Commonwealth buildings for those that have lost their lives to opioid overdoses.

The following Senate bills are to be introduced:

  • Co-sponsorship Memo (A. Williams, Langerholc) – This legislation would create involuntary commitment laws for those suffering with Substance Use Disorder.
  • Co-sponsorship Memo (Schwank) – The first bill would prohibit any treatment center in Pa to refuse admittance, or for any health insurance company operating in PA, to refuse coverage for admittance and provision of medical and psychological services, to anyone reporting to a treatment facility requesting medical or psychological services addressing substance use disorder, regardless of whether he or she is under the influence of drugs or alcohol when he or she reports for medical or psychological services. The second bill would provide critical and timely information to those potential patients who are evaluating treatment centers or recovery homes and encourage treatment facilities and recovery homes to follow medical best practices.
  • Co-sponsorship Memo (Cappelletti) – This bill will mandate that state agencies develop and publish opioid overdose training and instruction materials free of charge on publicly accessible websites. Additionally, this legislation would ensure that employees and inmates at correctional facilities are educated on opioid reversal medications and that people released from correctional facilities have access to these medications upon their release. School and university staff members will also be designated to administer opioid antagonists if needed, and all staff and students will have the opportunity to be informed about overdoses and opioid antagonists. Co-sponsorship Memo (Tartaglione, Brooks) – This bill would allow staffing flexibility to enable PA Licensed Addiction Treatment Programs to continue to operate with the levels of service and treatment needed, while also providing an opportunity to expand their workforce.
  • Co-sponsorship Memo (Tartaglione) – This bill would require the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs to develop or adapt state-specific criteria governing placement of people seeking treatment in licensed addiction treatment programs.



The PA Senate Democrats continue to fight to:

Establish more entry points and beds for treatment

Strengthen prescription writing guidelines

Make naloxone more readily available to treat overdoses

Allow families to petition for mandatory treatment of their loved ones

Work with pharmaceutical companies to identify solution and prevention methods for addiction

Impose an assessment on the wholesale imports of opioids into Pennsylvania

Increase educational addition programs in schools

Recovery Advocacy Day

19 de septiembre de 2023

Recovery Advocacy Day is an annual event at the Pennsylvania State Capitol, which aims to raise awareness of substance use disorders, and acknowledges the work of prevention, treatment, and recovery support services. This is the ninth year the day has been recognized. Held on September 19th this year, the day also celebrates those in recovery. Those taking part in the day of advocacy met with legislators, shared their stories, and ultimately drove home the message that there is hope, and recovery is possible.

The day included a rally on the steps of the main rotunda with a number of speakers, including Senator John Kane, who suffered from alcohol addiction and has been in recovery for 40 years this October.

Overdose Awareness Day

31 de agosto de 2023

PA marked International Overdose Awareness Day on the steps of the state Capitol on August 31, 2023. Sen. John Kane addressed parents, individuals in recovery, state lawmakers, and those with the Pennsylvania Chapter of Team Sharing in remembering those who have died, and acknowledging the grief of family and friends left behind.

Later in the evening, Senators John Kane and Tim Kearney hosted an Overdose Awareness Day Vigil with Delaware County Council, Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer, Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon and Delaware County Sheriff Jerry Sanders. The vigil was set to bring awareness to the opioid addiction epidemic, help end the stigma of drug addiction, and honor the lives lost to overdoses.

Senator Kane and Senator Kearney have introduced a Senate Resolution designating August 31 as Overdose Awareness Day in Pennsylvania.

2020 Opioid Epidemic Hearing Series

State Senate Committee Holds Philadelphia Hearing on Opioid Epidemic

Philadelphia – February 21, 2020 – At the request of state Senators Anthony H. Williams (D- Delaware/Philadelphia) and Tim Kearney (D- Chester/Delaware), the Senate Democratic Policy Committee held a public hearing today in Philadelphia on ways to combat the opioid epidemic and strengthen addiction treatment.

“The opioid epidemic has hit Philadelphia particularly hard,” Williams said. “We need to find a workable and compassionate strategy for getting these drugs out of our neighborhoods and helping people and their families who are struggling with opioid addiction.”

State Senate Committee Holds Delaware County Hearing on State’s Opioid Epidemic

Media – February 12, 2020 – At the request of state Senators Tim Kearney (D- Chester/Delaware) and Anthony H. Williams (D – Delaware/Philadelphia), the Senate Democratic Policy Committee today held a hearing on combating the opioid addiction epidemic in Pennsylvania.

“The opioid epidemic has hit our communities hard, and it’s going to take an all-hands-on-deck approach to prevent addiction, get people into treatment and save lives,” Kearney said. “This hearing will be critical to developing the bold plans we need to tackle this crisis head on and provide communities with the resources they need.”