Rhode Island Awarded $171 Million to Fight Drug Addiction Across the State
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island announced today that the state will receive $17.1 million in federal funding to combat the state’s opioid epidemic and support prevention, treatment, and recovery housing programs to improve the tracking and prevention of opioid-related overdoses and help people and communities affected by the crisis towards sober living.
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) $4.5 million to improve overdose mortality tracking so that authorities may obtain data more quickly. The CDC funding, worth roughly $300 million this year throughout the country, is being distributed among 47 states. And, pending appropriations, another $600 million is expected to be awarded over the next two years.
In addition, Rhode Island will receive nearly $12.6 million in State Opioid Response (SOR) grants from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). These grants provide funding to states to aid in the prevention, treatment, and sober recovery of people who have died as a result of an overdose. The program provides at least $4 million to each state, with additional funding provided to states with the highest rates of drug overdose deaths.
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“Rhode Island is making progress to combat the opioid epidemic, and these federal funds will bolster the state’s efforts to support effective prevention, treatment, and recovery programs,” said Senator Reed, a member of the Appropriations Committee, who was instrumental in securing this funding in the 2019 Department of Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act. “I’m pleased Rhode Island has been granted this additional federal assistance to help save lives, improve treatment, and address this public health crisis.”
The SAMHSA funding is part of a $932 million federal grant program that will be distributed to every state in the country for the second year of the State Opioid Response grant program.
Every day, 130 Americans die from an opioid overdose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In 2018, 314 Rhode Islanders died of accidental drug overdoses, according to the Rhode Island Department of Health and figures provided by the state’s Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force. This is a modest decrease from the previous year’s figure.
In 2018, there were approximately 68,557 overdose deaths nationwide, a 5% decrease from 72,224 deaths in 2017. This is the first time since 1990 that drug overdose deaths have decreased.
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