State opioid abuse draws attention

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced $950,000 in funding to Oklahoma to improve access to treatment for opioid use disorders.

“The epidemic of opioid use disorders involving the nonmedical use of prescription opioid pain relievers and the use of heroin has had a devastating impact on individuals, families and communities across our nation,” said Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Principal Deputy Administrator Kana Enomoto. “These grants will help address the key elements of the opioid crisis by promoting effective prevention efforts, preventing overdose deaths and helping ensure that people with opioid use disorders are able to receive vital treatment and recovery support services.”

Administered by SAMHSA, the grants will provide up to $11 million to 11 states to expand access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) services for persons with opioid use disorder.

Oklahoma will receive $950,000 in 2016. This program targets states identified as having the highest rates of primary treatment admissions for heroin and prescription opioids per capita, and prioritizes those states with the most dramatic recent increases for heroin and opioids.

States with these grants include Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon and Rhode Island.

Obama’s deficit-raising budget plan would have given Oklahoma $12,000,000.00 over two years but that was struck down in Congress for lack of funding.