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Consequences of the Opioid Epidemic

Three main impacts of the opioid epidemic persist:

  • The need to safely dispose of unused opioids
  • An increase in the number of older adults raising their grandchildren
  • The need to provide treatment.

Drug Take-Back Initiatives

The Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs is focused on alleviating the health and safety concerns from the diversion and misuse of prescription drugs by helping citizens properly dispose of unused prescription medications.

If you have opioid medications you are not using (either it has been deprescribed or was leftover from a surgery, for example) please dispose of them properly. Do not throw it in your garbage or flush it down the toilet. Find a controlled substance public disposal location in Pennsylvania. The Drug Enforcement Agency also has national events such as National Take-Back Day.

A cardboard box full of prescription drug bottles.

Grandparent Initiatives (State and Federal)

Many grandparents are having to parent their grandchildren due to the opioid crisis. In 2018, Pennsylvania enacted legislation to support grandparents raising grandchildren. Click each Act below to learn more.

Act 88 of 2018 grants temporary guardianship in 90-day increments for up to one year to grandparents or other family members when the child(ren)’s parents are not able to care for them.

Act 89 of 2018 established Pennsylvania KinConnector, an informational resource for grandparents and other family members, both as a website and a toll-free hotline. The website offers information on support and services available, and a specially trained navigator will provide guidance to a kinship caregiver and serve as a mediator to establish relationships between kinship caregivers and federal, state, and local agency staff.

Find Treatment Services

The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) collects information on thousands of state-licensed providers who specialize in treating substance use disorders, addiction, and mental illness. Patients and families can use the search on to find a treatment facility by zip code.

Pennsylvania also provides resources for finding treatment: