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The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs issued Information Bulletin 04-22 today. The purpose of the bulletin is to make Single County Authorities, substance use disorder (SUD) treatment providers, and other SUD-related organizations aware that they may be asked to serve on a death review team and that they may be asked to provide records as part of a death review team’s duties pursuant to Act 101 of 2022.

Read Information Bulletin 04-22.

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The Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) today released Information Bulletin 02-22: Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Records.

Act 33 of 2022 took effect immediately when Gov. Wolf signed it on July 7, 2022. Act 33 makes significant changes to the confidentiality provisions for substance use disorder (SUD) treatment records under Pennsylvania law and DDAP’s enforcement of those provisions. Act 33 amends the definitions, 71 P.S. § 1690.102, and the confidentiality provisions, 71 P.S. § 1690.108, of Act 63 of 1972, the Pennsylvania Drug and Alcohol Abuse Control Act.

Read the Information Bulletin.

Young caregiver helping older lady to stand up

The Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) is pleased to announce the issuance of Bulletin OMHSAS-22-06 titled “Revised Bulletin for Services to Older Adults.”

In 2019, Pennsylvania ranked 7th in the United States for the largest number of adults 65 and older. In the U.S., between 2020 and 2030, the number of older adults is projected to increase by almost 18 million, a 39% increase. The fastest growing segment of the population during the next two decades is expected to be in the age 85 and older group. Social isolation and limited access to supports negatively impact the well-being of older adults.

Depression, anxiety, addiction, and other mental illnesses are not a normal part of aging and should not be considered as such. As individuals age, the support networks utilized to help manage symptoms of a mental illness may change, resulting in individuals seeking services for the first time in their lives.

The development of depressive disorders occurs frequently in older adults, making it critical that comprehensive mental health evaluations are conducted based on presenting symptoms regardless of age. It is important for providers to evaluate for suicidality given that older adult males have the highest suicide completion rate of any age group.

Older persons diagnosed with a neurocognitive disorder, including dementia, who are experiencing symptoms of a mental illness, including depression, anxiety, substance use disorder, post-traumatic stress syndromes, and behavioral agitation, are guaranteed access to mental health services under laws and regulations of the Commonwealth.

If you have questions or concerns related to this bulletin, please email OMHSAS or contact your RCPA Policy Director.