Senators praise opioid funding

Published 12:01 pm Thursday, September 20, 2018

$3.7 billion will help in fight against drug epidemic

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Ohio’s two U.S. senators praised the Senate’s passage of new funding to combat the opiod epidemic.

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, announced that the FY 2019 Department of Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies conference report that passed the Senate Tuesday includes $3.7 billion in new funding to help combat the opioid epidemic.
Portman’s office said this includes $232 million in funding for several evidence-based programs authorized by Portman’s Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act (CARA) in 2016.

“This is good news for Ohio and the millions of Americans who continue to struggle with addiction,” Portman said in a statement. “I’m particularly pleased that the legislation approved by the Senate today includes $60 million for states to develop an infant plan of safe care to help newborns exposed to opioids and their families, as well as $30 million for drug treatment grants for pregnant and postpartum women. I’m also pleased that there is $36 million for grants to equip first responders with Naloxone.  We are making progress in increasing resources for CARA programs that we know work, and I look forward to the president signing this into law in the coming weeks.”

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Portman’s office said, over the past year, much of the additional opioid funding that Portman has fought for has begun to provide direct assistance to those on the frontlines in Ohio, with the CARA law authorizing an additional $181 million annually in discretionary spending for new programs to support evidenced-based prevention, treatment and recovery programs.

The office of U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, noted Brown helped secure nearly $4 billion to combat the addiction epidemic through two critical appropriations bills that expected to become law this week.

Last month, Brown fought to include $3.8 billion in funding through the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill to help fund prevention initiatives and treatment for individuals struggling with addiction, they said.

Brown’s office said the senator also worked to include $10 million in funding through the Defense Appropriations Bill to create a program at the Department of Defense to research opioid alternatives or non-addictive methods to treat and manage chronic pain.

“When it’s easier for Americans to get their hands on opioids than it is for them to access non-addictive alternatives and treatments, we have a serious problem,” Brown said in a stement. “These bills continue critical investments through traditional programs and create creative, new approaches to help solve the addiction crisis through important research already happening at the Defense Department.”