Washington D.C., Sep 4, 2019 / 14:00 pm
The Trump administration announced on Wednesday it will send almost $2 billion in grant funding to the states to fight the opioid crisis.
The administration will disburse $1.8 billion in grant funding to the states through the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), to fight the addiction epidemic, HHS Secretary Alex Azar said Sept. 4. The funding was appropriated by Congress at the President’s request.
The grants will be awarded in two parts. One part is $932 million in State Opioid Response grants, under the HHS Substance Abuse Mental Health Services (SAMSH) program, for all 50 states and several territories.
Providers receiving the grants “must make available medication-assisted treatment, which is the gold standard of treatment for opioid addiction,” Secretary Azar told reporters on a conference call on Wednesday.
Funding is sent to state health departments, territories, and local health departments; states can use the grant funding in a variety of ways, such as “medication-assisted treatment,” “community-based prevention efforts,” “employment coaching” programs, or distribution of naloxone, which is a drug used to counteract opioid overdoses, Azar said.
An additional $900 in grant funding will be sent to 47 states, Washington, D.C., 16 localities, and two territories, under the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Overdose Data to Action Grant Program. The grant money will fund better data collection on opioid overdoses and help victims get the treatment they need, Anzar said.
“These funds will be delivered to the communities where the help is most needed,” President Trump said on Wednesday at the White House.
The funding comes in response to 70,000 deaths by drug overdose in 2017. Over two-thirds of those deaths involved opioids, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Opioid-related overdose deaths increased by a factor of six between 1999 and 2017, though last year provisional overdose deaths fell by five percent, Azar told reporters on Wednesday.