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Health

WATCH: A free panel on how Pennsylvania can keep people in addiction recovery safe

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New Journeys in Recovery faces criminal charges for allegedly bribing recovery homes for referrals and forcing patients into substandard care, which prompted renewed calls from state lawmakers to strengthen oversight.
JESSICA GRIFFIN / Philadelphia Inquirer

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Thousands of Pennsylvanians are dealing with alcohol or drug addiction, and they often turn to licensed treatment facilities for help.

But a recent Spotlight PA/KHN investigation found the Pennsylvania department tasked with oversight of these providers allowed some to continue operating despite harm to patients. The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs lacks resources and regulatory power and uses a flawed oversight system that does little to ensure effective care, the investigation revealed.

At the same time, the department is struggling to implement regulations to oversee unlicensed recovery houses where people with addiction stay. In some cases, operators have exploited residents, providing few rules and little support, and putting people at greater risk of using drugs.

On Thursday, Sept. 9 at noon, Spotlight PA held a free panel on how Pennsylvania can keep people with addiction safe as they pursue recovery. Panelists included:

  • Spotlight PA investigative reporter Ed Mahon

  • KHN correspondent Aneri Pattani

  • Opioid Crisis Action Network board member Sharon White

  • Frank Greenagel, adjunct professor at the Rutgers School of Social Work, instructor at the Center of Alcohol Studies, and recovery supervisor at Prevention Links

  • Jason Snyder, director of the drug and alcohol division of the Rehabilitation & Community Providers Association

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