WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded $485 million in grants to help states fight the heroin and prescription drug epidemic, including $26 million for the state of Ohio. This is the second year in a row Ohio has received funding through the CURES legislation that U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) helped enact in 2016.
“This is good news for Ohio, and these new funds will help our efforts to combat the heroin and prescription drug epidemic gripping our state,” Portman said. “My visits to treatment and recovery facilities in Mt. Gilead and Columbus recently once again highlighted the glaring need for additional resources to combat this epidemic. I was proud to work on the CURES legislation and help secure opioid funding in the bill, and this legislation is now benefiting our state. This is another positive step forward, but we must do more, and that’s why I continue to push for common-sense solutions like the STOP Act and CARA 2.0 that will help us turn the tide of addiction in Ohio and around the country.”
The funding originates from the “21st Century CURES” initiative, legislation enacted in December 2016 that provided $1 billion over two years nationally to fight the heroin and prescription drug epidemic. Portman had urged that opioid funding be included in the CURES package, and the funding awarded to states can be used for improving prescription drug monitoring programs, prevention, training for health care workers and improving access to treatment for individuals struggling with a substance use disorder.
This funding complements the additional resources Portman has secured through his Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act (CARA) legislation and the additional $3 billion in opioid funding in the recently-enacted bipartisan budget agreement. Increasing funding is just one aspect of Portman’s efforts to combat this epidemic. This year he is also pushing legislation called the STOP Act, which would help stop dangerous synthetic drugs like fentanyl from being shipped into the U.S. and the bipartisan CARA 2.0 Act, which is designed to build on the success of CARA and provide additional resources and strengthen the federal government’s response to this crisis.