PA Commits $4 Million to Fight Overdose Deaths in Minority Communities

The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) announced the availability of $4 million in grant funding for organizations to establish or expand substance use disorder (SUD) services, community outreach and education to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities.

“Trends in drug overdose deaths show widening disparities between demographic groups, both in Pennsylvania and nationally,” said DDAP Secretary Jen Smith. “BIPOC communities are experiencing disproportionally higher rates of overdose deaths and are less likely to receive substance use treatment or supports than white people – calling for more intensive interventions in predominately BIPOC communities. The goal of this funding opportunity is to provide additional resources to implement effective strategies in eliminating or reducing racial inequities in SUD-related outcomes.”

In 2020, overdose death rates increased 39% for Black Pennsylvanians compared to 2019. In 2021, Black Pennsylvanians died from an overdose at a rate that was nearly two times higher than white Pennsylvanians.

Grants up to $400,000 each will be awarded for 12-month period beginning July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2024. Funds can be applied toward a range of activities, including construction and building infrastructure, staffing, and evidence-based programming.

Eligible applicants include organizations that provide services, outreach, and/or education to BIPOC communities in any of the following areas:

  1. Harm reduction
  2. Access to low-barrier medications for opioid use disorder and SUD treatment
  3. Recovery and peer supports
  4. Reentry supports

Completed applications must be submitted via email to by noon on Friday, March 10, 2023. Information on the grants and the application process can be found on the DDAP website or directed to