Bucks County Commissioner Gene DiGirolamo recently accepted the Spirit of the Commonwealth Award from a statewide coalition of drug and alcohol treatment providers. He was honored for his many contributions to addiction treatment efforts.
DiGirolamo received the award during the annual meeting of the Drug and Alcohol Service Providers Organization of Pennsylvania.
“It’s hard to begin to find ways to say ‘thank you’ to former state Rep. Gene DiGirolamo,” said Deb Beck, executive director of DASPOP. “This man has done a ton of lifesaving work in addiction treatment.”
Beck cited DiGirolamo’s work in the state legislature, where he “led the battle” to increase availability statewide of the life saving drug naloxone. Commonly referred to by the brand name Narcan, the overdose reversing drug is frequently carried by treatment providers, police and emergency medical personnel, and is available to all Pennsylvanians by standing order of the state Department of Health.
In Bucks County, DiGirolamo works daily with his fellow commissioners to boost access to treatment, and also to support the organizations that provide care to those in addiction and recovery. Through the county’s Human Services Division, the commissioners each year allocate millions in local, state and federal dollars to a wide spectrum of services and treatment efforts.
“It’s a great honor to me to receive this award for my work in drug addiction and helping to get people into the treatment they need,” DiGirolamo said. “I am very proud and grateful to be able to help the residents and families of Bucks County in this way, and to be recognized for my efforts from this devoted group of professionals.”
Such work is something DiGirolamo has been passionate about for some time given his oldest son’s battle with a heroin addiction. During his interview with The Times in 2020, ahead of his election to the board of commissioners, DiGirolamo said, “I went through, as a parent, the absolute horror of having a child who’s addicted to drugs, and what every family goes through in trying to get them into treatment and having them relapse. After experiencing that, I really took an interest in this area of health and human services.”