WEST CHESTER (January 9, 2020) – Two universities in Chester County – West Chester University (WCU) and Immaculata University (IU) will receive more than $140,000 in funding to prevent and reduce opioid use on campus and to create naloxone training opportunities, state Senator Andy Dinniman announced today.

“The deadly drug and opioid epidemic is robbing our communities of our greatest resource – the talented students and young people who will lead us into the future,” Dinniman, who serves as minority chair of the Senate Education Committee, said. “These grants represent another important step toward preventing use and addiction and saving lives.”

The funding, administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, comes through a $55.9 million federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grant.

Eligible grant projects include raising campus awareness, reducing stigma, increasing access to overdose reversal training, and grief support. Awardees can use the funding to expand existing preventive programs as well as collaborate with local stakeholders to implement new projects.

WCU and IU were among 13 institutions of higher education statewide to be awarded nearly $1 million in funding. Institutions can apply for up to $100,000 through the program and both WCU and IU were funded to the level they requested.

Pennsylvania and Chester County have been uniquely affected by the opioid crisis. According to Stop Overdose Chester County, 111 drug overdoses were reported in Chester County in 2018. In the first half of 2019, 65 people in Chester County lost their lives due to overdose.

For more information on combatting the opioid crisis, visit pa.gov/opioids.