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Senators announce new anti-opioid funds approved

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Ohio’s two U.S. senators announced this week that funding has been approved for anti-opioid mesures they have been championing.

Republican Rob Portman says that the final FY 2018 appropriations bill includes approximately $3 billion in new funding to help combat the opioid epidemic, including more funding for evidence-based programs authorized by Portman’s Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act (CARA) in 2016.

“This is good news for Ohio and good news for the millions of Americans who continue to struggle with addiction,” Portman said in a news release. “One of our goals in introducing CARA 2.0 was to provide appropriators with a road map for how best to increase funding for evidence-based prevention, treatment and recovery programs that work.  I’m particularly pleased that the bill includes $60 million for states to develop an infant plan of safe care to help newborns exposed to opioids and their families.”

The state’s senior senator, Democrat Sherrod Brown, announced Ohio will be among the first in line to receive opioid funding secured in the omnibus spending package released Thursday.

The package also includes $65 million to fund opioid detection devices and equipment called for in Brown’s INTERDICT Act, which President Donald Trump signed into law earlier this year. The devices will help Customs and Border Agents detect and stop dangerous drugs like fentanyl before they enter the U.S.

“For too long, Ohio communities have been desperate for the federal government to step up and provide the necessary resources to effectively combat the opioid epidemic,” Brown said in a news release. “While we know there is more work to be done, this funding is a meaningful step forward for Ohio. By investing in local communities and supporting law enforcement through the INTERDICT Act, we can better address the opioid crisis in our state.”