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$10 Million Awarded For Missouri To Combat Opioid Epidemic - KOAM TV 7

$10 Million Awarded For Missouri To Combat Opioid Epidemic

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A $10 million grant is awarded to Missouri to combat the opioid epidemic in the state.

This is the second year The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has awarded Missouri the grant, bringing the two year total to $20 million.

The grants, which were created by the 21st Century Cures Act, are administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and will help address the opioid crisis and reduce opioid overdose related deaths by increasing access to treatment, and supporting prevention and recovery activities.

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (MO) and U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (MO) have expressed their support for the grants.

"In 2016, nearly three Missourians died every day from an opioid overdose," said Blunt. "Drug overdose deaths have surpassed motor vehicle accidents as the number one accidental cause of death in our state. Addiction is treatable, but only around ten percent of those struggling with the disease get the help they need. This grant funding will provide additional resources to expand and improve treatment and prevention services."

"Opioid addiction continues to devastate families and communities across Missouri, but we're also seeing addiction and prevention treatment programs chip away at an epidemic that at times has felt unstoppable," said McCaskill, a former Jackson County Prosecutor. "These new resources will go a long way in continuing to combat this crisis and give tools to the folks on the front lines by expanding treatment access to families who need it most, reducing overdose deaths, and cutting down on overprescriptions."

McCaskill's office says she has spearheaded efforts to combat the opioid epidemic in the state. In September 2017, McCaskill announced the first round of findings of a Congressional investigation into the opioid crisis, detailing systemic manipulation of the prior authorization process by Insys Therapeutics. McCaskill's latest report, issued earlier this year (2018), describes how manufacturers of opioids have made significant financial investments into third party organizations; groups which in turn have often engaged in pro-opioid advocacy.

As Labor/HHS chairman, Blunt helped secure funding for the opioid crisis grant program in this year's government funding bill.

Blunt says, "Over the last three years, the committee has increased funding for opioid-related programs by nearly $3.3 billion, or a 1,228 percent increase. I'll continue working to ensure our communities have the resources they need to address this public health crisis, especially in areas that need it most."

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