CO to receive $7.8M to fight opioid epidemic

Staff Report

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price recently announced that the agency will provide $485 million in federal grants to states to combat the opioid abuse epidemic.

Colorado will receive a grant totaling $7,869,651. The grant is the result of the 21st Century Cures Act, a bipartisan bill signed into law by Barack Obama on Dec. 13, 2016.

Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colorado, said the announcement was welcome news.

“Over the last year, I have visited communities across the Third Congressional District that have been deeply impacted by the opioid abuse epidemic that is sweeping our nation. Many of our rural communities simply don’t have the resources to fight this epidemic and have called on the federal government for help,” said Tipton.

“Our health care providers, law enforcement officers, educators and community support groups are committed to saving lives and bringing an end to prescription drug and heroin abuse, and this grant will be extremely helpful for our state,” he said.

The grant will be administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and can be put toward prevention, treatment and recovery services. The grant allocations were determined by the rate of opioid overdose deaths and unmet needs for opioid addiction treatment in each state.

Price has asked governors for assistance in identifying the best practices in opioid abuse prevention and treatment.

“I understand the urgency of this funding; however, I also want to ensure the resources and policies are properly aligned with and remain responsive to this evolving epidemic,” Price wrote. “Therefore, while I am releasing the funding for the first year immediately, my intention for the second year is to develop funding allocations and policies that are most clinically sound, effective and efficient. To that end, in the coming weeks and months, I will seek your assistance to identify the best practices, lessons learned and key strategies that produce measureable results.”

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