“Congress’s new spending deal commits more money to combat an opioid epidemic that’s led to hundreds of thousands of drug overdose deaths since the late 1990s. But while experts and advocates welcome the funding, there are a few reasons for caution.
The omnibus bill adds $3.3 billion to address the opioid and mental health crisis in fiscal year 2018, with a focus on public health efforts. Here are some of the big programs:”
- $1.4 billion will go to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, including $1 billion for a new State Opioid Response Grant program and a $160 million increase in the Mental Health Block Grant
- $500 million for the National Institutes of Health for more opioid addiction research
- $350 million to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for opioid overdose prevention, surveillance, and improving state prescription drug monitoring programs
- $415 million for the Health Resources and Services Administration to, among other efforts, improve access to addiction treatment in rural and other underserved areas
- $100 million to the Administration for Children and Families to help children whose parents misuse drugs
- An additional $299.5 million to the Department of Justice’s anti-opioid grant funding
- An additional $500 million to the Department of Veterans Affairs for mental health programs
- An additional $94 million to Food and Drug Administration efforts to inspect mail for illicit drugs
- All of this is on top of the $500 million in fiscal year 2018 approved in the 21st Century Cures Act to combat the opioid epidemic.
Source: Vox.com – March 22, 2018
See related White House press release: President Donald J. Trump’s Initiative to Stop Opioid Abuse and Reduce Drug Supply and Demand available at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/president-donald-j-trumps-initiative-stop-opioid-abuse-reduce-drug-supply-demand/
See related article: Jeff Sessions’s memo asking federal prosecutors to seek the death penalty for drug traffickers available at:
See related article: HHS official: ‘Emphasis shouldn’t be on the death penalty’ for drug dealers available at: