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Michael Petruzzelli

, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

New Bill Would Invest Millions in Curbing Nation’s Opioid Epidemic

January 14, 2016 | Opioid and Heroin Epidemic | Comments
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A new bill in the Senate would invest over half a billion dollars in emergency funding to help curb the nation’s opioid and heroin abuse epidemic. The funding measure – introduced by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) – would provide supplemental emergency funding to critical programs in the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services.


“The opioid crisis is spiraling out of control,” said Senator Shaheen in a statement. “This should be an all-hands-on-deck moment, not just for New Hampshire, but for our country. We are losing lives daily and our first responders, healthcare providers and criminal justice system are overwhelmed. To stem the tide, we urgently need additional funding for prevention, treatment and recovery efforts, and this legislation would provide resources to those on the frontlines.”


The emergency funding proposal includes the following:

Department of Health and Human Services
  • $225 million for the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment block grant;
  • $10 million to help improve access in high risk communities to medication assisted treatment services;
  • $5 million to assist community organizations and develop organized statewide network for peer–to-peer recovery support including activities such as peer coaching, peer support groups, life skills workshops and peer-led housing and employment connector programs;
  • $20 million for the Strategic Prevention Framework to address underage drinking and prescription drug misuse and abuse among 12 to 25 year olds;
  • $5 million for Project AWARE, a grant program to support the training of teachers and others who interact with youth through their programs at the community level, including parents, law enforcement, faith-based leaders, and other adults, in Mental Health First Aid;
  • $50 million for expanding State-level prescription drug abuse prevention efforts such as improving prescription drug monitoring programs, data collection, and collaboration among States;
  • $40 millionfor the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund to better coordinate and respond to the national heroin and opioid drug abuse crisis at the discretion of the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Department of Justice
  • $200 million for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program to fund state and local initiatives on drug treatment and enforcement programs, law enforcement, and prevention and education programs;
  • $10 million for grants to State law enforcement agencies in States with high rates of primary treatment admissions for heroin or other opioids.
National Institutes of Health
  • $30 million to the National Institute on Drug Abuse for targeted research on drug addiction and efforts to disseminate the results to improve prevention and treatment.