State officials gather in Harrisburg to kickoff National Recovery Month | Five for the Weekend
The 2022 National Recovery Month theme is ‘Recovery is For Everyone: Every Person, Every Family, Every Community’
Secretary Jen Smith with the Departments of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) joins Health (DOH), Congresswoman Madeleine Dean, Harry Cunnane, Rep. Dean’s son – an individual in recovery – and other stakeholders to highlight the importance of accessible supports for those in recovery from substance use disorder (SUD) and to kick off National Recovery Month in Pennsylvania (Commonwealth Media Services photo).
Happy weekend, all.
State leaders and advocacy groups gathered in Harrisburg earlier this week to kick off National Recovery Month, which spans the month of September, and to support Pennsylvanians in recovery.
“People can and do recover from the disease of addiction. September is a time to celebrate the gift of recovery and to remind people in recovery, and those who support them, that no one is alone in their journey,” Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Secretary Jen Smith said.
Smith also highlighted several Wolf administration programs that she said have helped to reduce stigma, boost prevention efforts, and improve Pennsylvania’s drug and alcohol treatment system through such measures as expanding access to naloxone through Pennsylvania’s standing order, increasing access to medication-assisted treatment and treatment for uninsured and underinsured individuals with substance use disorder, and expanding the Addiction Treatment Locator, Assessment, and Standards Platform (ATLAS) to Pennsylvania.
State officials were joined at the kick-off event on Thursday by U.S. Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-4th District, and her son Harry Cunnane, who is celebrating nine years in recovery.
“National Recovery Month is a time to bring hope to people in recovery and their families. I was grateful to be with my son, Harry, as well as Secretary Jen Smith and other advocates to discuss how we can make recovery more accessible and possible for everyone in Pennsylvania,” Dean said. “Government has a role to play to spread awareness, break the stigma, and help save lives.”
As always, the top five stories from this week are below.
Democrats are aware that the search of former President Donald Trump’s home by the FBI hurt the Party politically. This Aug. 17 headline from The New York Times, referencing the Inflation Reduction Act, says it all: President Takes a Bow, but Spotlight Stays on His Predecessor.
Yet, even with this knowledge, 88 percent of Democrats want Trump charged for fomenting the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Slightly over half of Democrats think he will be.
Undoubtedly, Democrats are also hoping that state criminal investigations into financial improprieties and election interference will lead to prosecutions.
Lisa Scheller, the Republican candidate in the 7th Congressional District, is criticizing President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness initiative as a move that means the state’s “working families will be forced to pay off the debts of doctorate degree elites.”
Her Aug. 24 tweet came the same day that Biden said he will forgive up to $10,000 in student loans for borrowers with income of less than $125,000 for an individual and $250,000 for a household. The figure rises to $20,000 for Pell grant recipients.
Tweets such as Scheller’s have drawn a rebuke from the White House because Scheller, like other Republican candidates and elected officials, saw the benefit of federal loan forgiveness themselves – Pennsylvania’s U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, R-16th District, among them.
A new Franklin & Marshall College poll shows Democrats Josh Shapiro and John Fetterman with double-digit leads over their Republican rivals, even as President Joe Biden’s approval ratings remain underwater with voters in a key 2022 battleground state.
In the state’s nationally watched U.S. Senate race, Fetterman, the current lieutenant governor, leads Republican Mehmet Oz, a celebrity physician, 43 percent to 30 percent. But the race tightens to 45-36 percent when people who are leaning toward a particular candidate are included.
President Joe Biden is headed to Pennsylvania this week.
Biden is expected to visit Wilke-Barre on Tuesday to focus on his Safer America Plan, which aims to expand gun control measures and mental health resources — building on the bipartisan proposal passed by Congress in June. The trip was rescheduled from last month after he tested positive for COVID-19.
And on Monday, the White House announced that the Democratic president plans to stop in Pittsburgh on Labor Day for the annual parade to celebrate the holiday “and the dignity of American workers.” He also plans to visit Milwaukee on Labor Day.
Allegheny-Fayette Central Labor Council President Darrin Kelly said they are excited to welcome Biden to Pittsburgh for Labor Day.
I noticed on Sunday night that the Phillies used an all-white starting lineup versus the Mets. I don’t know if anyone tracks this, but I assume that all-white starting lineups in major league baseball are fairly rare.
Also, after the trade deadline in early August, I had noticed that the Phillies were very white (i.e., Caucasian). They had traded for three white players (Marsh, Syndergaard, and Robertson) and one minority player (Sosa) and followed that up by releasing numerous minority players (Herrera, Gregorius, Familia, and Carmago).
As a result, the Phillies currently have six minority players on their active roster. That’s 23 percent. According to The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida, 38 percent of all MLB players as of opening day were players of color. The Phillies also have just two minority coaches.
And that’s the week. We’ll see you back here next week.
Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.