WASHINGTON, D.C. (WTVQ) – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Wednesday that Kentucky will receive $31.48 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of the State Opioid Response Grants Program. This program was created by the 21st Century Cures (CURES) Act
“Kentucky is leading the national response to the devastating opioid epidemic, and the federal resources announced today will reinforce their life-saving work,” said Senator McConnell.
“The recent reduction in Kentucky overdose deaths has demonstrated that the increased support from our federal partners is making a huge difference in the Commonwealth,” said Van Ingram, the executive director of the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy.
Today’s announcement follows recent news that preliminary figures from the National Center for Health Statistics show that last year, 2018, saw the first nationwide decline in drug overdose deaths since 1990.
In the prior twenty-eight years, overdose deaths climbed. But in 2018 that number finally dropped. It was approximately a 5 percent decline nationwide. And in Kentucky, overdose deaths fell by nearly 15 percent last year — the largest drop in the state in more than a decade.
Senator McConnell recently worked with the University of Kentucky to help secure an $87 million federal competitive grant to address the opioid crisis in high-risk communities. He has also helped secure inclusion of some of Kentucky’s hardest-hit counties in the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program to promote coordination and support for law enforcement in Kentucky.