Ohio scores $2 million in federal $ to address opioid epidemic
Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-9) today (Aug. 31, 2016) announced that Ohio will receive nearly $2 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under three health-related programs to address the statewide epidemic of opioid misuse and overdoses.
The awards announced today were made by two agencies within HHS, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC), which focus on opioid misuse and overdoses. Ohio was selected for three separate programs and will receive a total of $1,998,455 out of $53 million allocated nationwide to 44 States, four tribes and the District of Columbia to “improve access to treatment for opioid use disorders, reduce opioid related deaths, and strengthen drug abuse prevention efforts. In addition, funding will also support improved data collection and analysis around opioid misuse and overdose as well as better tracking of fatal and nonfatal opioid-involved overdoses.”
“This is welcome news, of course. Any additional resources are a help,” said Congresswoman Kaptur. “But this is an epidemic, and it’s getting worse, based on what I have been told by medical professionals and law enforcement officials in northern Ohio. Everyone acknowledges this isn’t enough – everyone except the Republicans in Congress, that is.”
In Ohio, deaths and overdoses from heroin and opioids have reached epidemic proportions. According to data released last week by the Ohio Department of Health, opioid overdoses killed a record 3,050 people in Ohio in 2015, more than one-third of them from fentanyl, a super-potent opiate often mixed with heroin. When the data includes heroin and opioids, Cuyahoga County has seen 1,386 people die from overdoses between 2010 to 2015. Deaths in 2016 are expected to exceed 500 in number, nearly double the total from 2015, according to William Denihan, the chief executive officer of the Cuyahoga County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board. In Lucas County, 113 people died of heroin or other opioid overdoses in 2015, with roughly 3,000 reported non-fatal overdoses, according to law enforcement sources.
Ohio will be awarded funds under one program administered by the Substances Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration, or SAMHSA, and two programs oversee by the Centers for Disease Control, or CDC.