Kentucky to receive $31.2 million to fight opioid epidemic

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WTVQ)- Following the announcement from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) regarding State Opioid Response Grants, Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) issued the following statement:

“More than 2 million Americans will suffer from addiction to opioids in 2018. “This epidemic is a crisis that touches nearly every one of our lives – across all demographics, regions, and states. After meeting with many organizations and Kentuckians on the front lines, it was evident that more local resources were needed to respond to the growing and changing crisis and it’s why I have made it one of my top priorities in Congress. With this investment, Kentucky will now have the resources it needs for local communities to better provide prevention, treatment and recovery services to families struggling with addiction.”

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The Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R. 1625), was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump in early 2018.

H.R. 1625 allocates funds, which is the largest investment to date, to address prevention, treatment and enforcement initiatives to combat the opioid epidemic.

$1 billion in new funding was included in the allocation of funds for the State Opioid Response Grants.

The Opioid Response Grants allow state flexibility in addressing the opioid epidemic on the local level.

15 percent of the funds will be set aside for states with the highest mortality rates due to drug overdose deaths.

Kentucky is one of those states ranking the third highest in the nation when it comes to opioid deaths.

An amendment to H.R. 1625, offered by Congressman Barr, would increase the funding for the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Program to $280 million.

This will allow increased efforts to fight drug trafficking in Eastern Kentucky and other areas impacted by drug addiction and high overdose rates.

This funding along with an additional $10.5 million awarded to Kentucky earlier this year was from the 21st Century Cures Act.