Portman: $77M in federal funds will help combat opioid addiction
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, praised the announcement Thursday from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, Recovery Ohio director Alisha Nelson, and Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services director Lori Criss on how the state will distribute $77 million in federal State Opioid Response (SOR) grants to help local communities combat Ohio’s drug crisis.
As Portman announced in August, Ohio received $96 million in SOR funding and this week’s grants represent a portion of that funding. The SOR program, funded through the 21st Century CURES Act, has been used by states to increase access to naloxone and support access to long-term addiction treatment and recovery services. Portman championed the passage of the CURES law and consistently works to increase the federal funding for the SOR program.
The SOR grant announcement comes at a time when many communities are suffering from an increase in addiction, overdoses, and the need for behavioral health services due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
OhioMHAS will award $58.8 million in grants directly to local county alcohol, drug addiction and mental health services boards and their community partners. OhioMHAS will make the remaining funding available for organizations utilizing innovative approaches for connecting people to care.
“State Opioid Response funds are vital for Ohio’s continued efforts to combat the addiction epidemic, and I’m pleased to have led efforts to create this federal funding stream through the CURES legislation and to help secure this funding for Ohio,” said Portman. “The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges and we are now seeing a heartbreaking surge in overdose deaths. That’s why I’m glad this federal funding will make a difference and continue to help save lives throughout Ohio. I will continue to work with my colleagues and Governor DeWine to ensure that our local communities and addiction providers have the resources they need to continue to combat this epidemic.”