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Drug and Alcohol Recovery Services for Westmoreland Residents
By Elizabeth Comer, MSW

Substance abuse remains a major public health problem in Westmoreland County, as it is across much of the country, but things are looking up due to the diligent collaborative efforts of public health, public safety and social service agencies in the region.

There is reason to have hope: recovery from substance abuse is possible and Westmoreland County provides a broad range of services that are easily accessed by anyone who needs them.
Substance abuse, including both alcohol and drugs, is still at epidemic proportions in Westmoreland County but overdose deaths have decreased, largely due to the availability of Naloxone. Alcohol continues to be a major issue and is the number one reason that people come to the hospital seeking recovery care and assistance.

The Westmoreland Drug and Alcohol Commission, Inc. (WeDAC) is the Single County Authority (SCA) for Westmoreland County and provides oversight to prevention, intervention, treatment, Case Management and Recovery Support Services.  It is also the source of funding for those who are uninsured and underinsured, to help them access treatment services.
The Drug and Alcohol Case Management Unit provides 24/7 access to treatment services, for anyone in need of it. All it takes is a single phone call to 1-800-220-1810 and the phone is answered 24 hours a day. They provide screenings, level of care assessments, referral to treatment, overdose prevention training and naloxone distribution, plus assistance with non-treatment, practical needs such as housing, childcare, healthcare and transportation.

Individuals can come into any SPHS treatment office in Westmoreland County to access this service or they can meet with a Drug and Alcohol Case Manager in a community setting.

The Drug and Alcohol Case Management Unit employs Certified Recovery Specialists (CRS) who are individuals in long term recovery who offer peer support and engagement to people before, during and after treatment services. Because they have experienced substance abuse and have been through recovery, they have personal expertise and empathy to offer. They are community-based and act as advocates and guides, fully prepared to help individuals to navigate the recovery process by accompanying them to meetings and connecting individuals to the recovery community and supports within the county.  They facilitate a family support program, funded by the SCA, free of cost to attendees.  To access CRS, contact 1-800-220-1810.

WeDAC is an administrative office and its direct services are subcontracted to Southwestern Pennsylvania Human Services (SPHS) Drug and Alcohol (D&A) Case Management Unit.

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Elizabeth Comer, MSW, is the Director of Clinical and Case Management Services for the Westmoreland Drug and Alcohol Commission. She can be reached at 724-243-2220 Ext. 4450. For more information, visit www.wedacinc.org.

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