(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com)– This week the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol programs (DDAP) announced another $6 million in grant money has been awarded to organizations across the commonwealth to help fight overdose deaths.

According to the release, the money awarded to 19 organizations will be used to establish or expand substance use disorder (SUD) services, community outreach and education to underrepresented communities struggling with the opioid overdose crisis.

Those organizations will be receiving grants up to $400,000 for a 12-month period beginning July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2024 and will go towards construction and building infrastructure, staffing, and evidence-based programming. 

“Trends in drug overdose deaths show widening disparities between demographic groups, both in Pennsylvania and nationally,” said DDAP Acting Secretary Dr. Latika Davis-Jones. “Communities of color are experiencing disproportionally higher rates of overdose deaths and are less likely to receive substance use treatment or supports.”

The DDAP also says overdose death rates increased 39% for black Pennsylvanians from 2019 and faced an overdose death rate that was nearly twice as high as white Pennsylvanians in 2021.

For the full list of organizations awarded grants and to see all efforts the Shapiro Administration taking to fight the opioid crisis in Pennsylvania, click here.