$100M in federal funding headed to Ohio to combat opioid crisis

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 27, 2023

COLUMBUS — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced last week a $100 million investment of federal State Opioid and Stimulant Response funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to help communities fight opioid addiction and prevent overdose deaths.

The  funds are  a continuation of year one funding received by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services that will strengthen and sustain an array of prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and long-term recovery supports for Ohioans struggling with an opioid or stimulant use disorder.

More than 7,800 Ohioans were served in year one of the SOS initiative, DeWine’s office said.

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“Ohio continues to make good progress in our effort to stem the tide of opioid addiction, but our work is far from over,” DeWine said. “While the rate of unintentional overdose deaths is slowing, our work must continue. This funding will help us save lives and promote stronger, healthier communities.”

More than $58.7 million of the $100 million will be channeled to Ohio’s 50 county Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services boards to expand access to local prevention, harm reduction, treatment and recovery supports. Another $16.6 million will be designated for direct-funded community initiatives.

OhioMHAS will also use these funds to partner with the Ohio Department of Health to provide funding to purchase additional supplies of the overdose reversal drug naloxone, and the Ohio Department of Veteran Services to provide services for veterans and active-duty service members, including the expansion of peer recovery support services for residents at the ODVS Domiciliary who have a history of opioid use disorder, stimulant use disorder, and/or co-occurring disorders.

OhioMHAS coordinated with statewide partners, state level agencies, and DeWine’s RecoveryOhio initiative to identify Ohio’s goals for the SOS initiative. Key priorities include:

• Reducing unintentional overdose deaths

• Increasing access to addiction treatment

• Preventing youth alcohol and drug use

• Increasing recovery supports

Supporting responsible prescribing practices

• Promoting harm reduction practices

“I am proud of the work Ohio is doing through the SOS initiative and look forward to extending the impact of these programs with this additional round of funding. Ohio has experienced significant successes thus far with the SOS initiative, exceeding the national rates in several key data collection and outcomes performance measurements,” OhioMHAS director Lori Criss said. “Together with our local partners, we are saving lives and illuminating the pathway to recovery with a goal of connecting Ohioans with the services they need to get well, be well and stay well.”