Ohio has been awarded $55.8 million from the federal government to help combat the opioid epidemic.

On Sept. 4, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) announced the funding, which is part of $1.8 billion awarded to U.S. states from the Department of Health and Human Services.

According to Portman’s office, this includes funding HHS through the State Opioid Response Grant (SOR) program, formerly known as the 21st Century CURES Act, which has reportedly been used by states to increase access to naloxone and support access to long-term addiction treatment and recovery services.

“This is good news for Ohio, and these new funds will help our efforts to combat the opioid epidemic that continues to grip our state,” Portman said. “My visits to treatment and recovery facilities around the state have again highlighted the need for additional resources to support education, treatment and recovery programs that work. I was proud to help secure opioid funding in the initial CURES law and fight for more resources as part of the SOR grants. I’m pleased these additional resources are benefiting our state.

“This is another positive step forward, but we must do more, and that includes combating the resurgence of meth and cocaine in Ohio. My new legislation, the Combating Meth & Cocaine Act, will give states like Ohio more flexibility to use SOR grant funding to address the resurgence of meth and cocaine and I’m optimistic that we can get this done.”

HHS announced the $1.8 billion in funding to states on Sept. 4, stating that the funding continues “the Trump administration’s efforts to combat the opioid crisis by expanding access to treatment and supporting near real-time data on the drug overdose crisis.”

“Thanks to President Trump’s leadership and the hard work of so many Americans in local communities, we are beginning to win the battle against the opioid overdose crisis,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar.

“Our country is seeing the first drop in overdose deaths in more than two decades, more Americans are getting treatment for addiction, and lives are being saved. At the same time, we are still far from declaring victory. We will continue executing on the Department’s 5-Point strategy for combating the opioid crisis, and laying the foundation for a healthcare system where every American can access the mental healthcare they need.”

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