Ensuring Access to Treatment
Too often, we treat addiction to opioids as a moral failing. In reality, opioid-use disorder is an illness that is treatable. The Wolf Administration is increasing access to treatment through the Medicaid expansion and the creation of Centers of Excellence and Medication-Assisted Treatment Programs.
Access to Treatment
In 2015, Governor Wolf expanded Medicaid, which allowed 44,000 Pennsylvanians with an opioid-use disorder to access treatment. In 2016, 71,000 Pennsylvanians had access to treatment. The map below shows where people are covered by Medicaid under the expansion.
Without this expansion, thousands of Pennsylvanians would be suffering without help. Watch one woman's story.
Connecting Pennsylvanians to Treatment: The Programs
Centers of Excellence
Centers of Excellence, created by the Wolf Administration in 2016, are designed to get more people into treatment and keep them engaged in their care.
The centers coordinate care for people with Medicaid. Treatment is team-based and “whole person” focused, with the explicit goal of integrating behavioral health and primary care.
Pennsylvania Coordinated Medication Assisted Treatment
A hub-and-spoke network of health care providers facilitates access to Medication Assisted Treatment. The hub is a centralized team of specialists that provides support and other services to the spokes, which are defined as primary care providers who provide treatment to patients in the community. Programs include: Allegheny Health Network, Geisinger Clinic, Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute , UPMC and WellSpan Health.
Where to Seek Help for Substance Use Disorder in Pennsylvania
This map shows the locations of Pennsylvania’s licensed treatment facilities, Centers of Excellence locations, and PacMAT locations where individuals can access treatment for opioid use disorder. If you need assistance in finding a treatment facility or funding for addiction treatment, please call 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
Pennsylvania licenses nearly 800 drug and alcohol treatment facilities (shown in blue) across the commonwealth.
Centers of Excellence (shown in green), created by the Wolf Administration in 2016, are designed to get more people into treatment for opioid use disorder and keep them engaged in their care. The centers coordinate care for people with Medicaid. Treatment is team-based and “whole person” focused, with the goal of integrating behavioral health and primary care. Learn more about Centers of Excellence.
Pennsylvania Coordinated Medication Assisted Treatment (PacMAT; shown in red) is a hub-and-spoke network of health care providers who facilitate access to medication assisted treatment (MAT). The hub is a centralized team of specialists that provides support and other services to the spokes, which are defined as primary care providers who provide treatment to patients in the community.
Single County Authorities
Single County Authorities (SCAs) organize drug and alcohol prevention and treatment services in their county. Your local SCA can help you find a treatment provider near you. If you do not have insurance or need assistance with out-of-pocket costs, they can also help you pay for treatment.
Health Insurance Coverage for Treatment
Insurance coverage for opioid use disorder is critical to ensuring access to and affording treatment services. If you have insurance, your coverage for treatment and the requirements to access treatment will vary depending on the type of insurance you have and the applicable laws and regulations. The Pennsylvania Insurance Department developed a Consumer Guide to Health Insurance Coverage to help Pennsylvanians understand what benefits they are guaranteed access.
Uninsured or underinsured individuals seeking treatment should contact their local Single County Authority for funding assistance.
Connecting Pennsylvanians to Treatment: The Numbers
In 2016, 120,000 Pennsylvanians suffering from opioid-use disorder were covered under Medicaid. More than 71,000 were newly eligible for health care coverage through the Medicaid expansion, meaning that for many people, this is the first time they are able to access treatment for addiction.
PA's uninsured rate dropped
after Medicaid expansion
Governor Wolf expanded Medicaid in 2015. By year, Pennsylvania's uninsured rate was:
- 8.5% in 2014
- 6.4% in 2015
- 5.6% in 2016
Naloxone Prescriptions Filled using Medicaid
Naloxone is a covered outpatient drug in the Medical Assistance Program. Everyone on Medicaid has unrestricted access to life-saving naloxone, with no limits and no copayments. Naloxone can be prescribed by the beneficiary’s provider or is available under a statewide standing order for the general public, making naloxone available for immediate action to reverse an overdose of an opioid drug.
Inmates Admitted to Prison who Self-Report Using Opioids
All inmates sentenced to the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (PA DOC) are assessed upon admission to prison for substance use problems. The PA DOC uses the Texas Christian University Drug Screen II (TCU) to assess for substance use problems. This assessment aligns with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) for identifying substance use disorders. One question on the TCU assessment asks “which drug caused the most serious problem?” Another question on the TCU asks whether the respondent used various drugs, such as opioids, during the past 12 months. The below maps show the percent of all inmates sentenced to PA DOC from each county who indicate that an opioid based drug caused them the most serious problem, and the percent of all inmates sentenced to PA DOC from each county who indicate that they used an opioid drug in the past 12 months. These maps can be indicators of which areas of the Commonwealth are experiencing high opioid abuse problems related to criminal activity. It should be noted that this is self-report information. Also, counties with low prison admissions may have unexpectedly high percentages because of these low numbers.
Percent of Inmates with OUD
Percent of Inmates Using Opioids Last 12 Months
Get Help Now
Are you or someone you know suffering from a prescription drug or heroin problem? We can help.
Call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) for information about treatment resources. Your call is completely confidential. This hotline, staffed by trained professionals, is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is available in both English and Spanish. Not comfortable calling? You can also text 717-216-0905 for assistance.
Anyone in Pennsylvania can get life-saving naloxone from their local pharmacy.
Acting Secretary of Health and Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine has signed a standing order prescription so that anyone in Pennsylvania can get naloxone. Download a copy of the naloxone standing order.
Drug take-back boxes are available across the state for residents to dispose of unneeded prescriptions.
The availability of drug take-back boxes gets unwanted or unneeded prescription drugs out of homes. Search for prescription drug take-back locations in your county by using either your zip code or your county.