White House announces $1.5 billion to curb opioid crisis
Why it matters: Deaths from overdoses hit a new record of more than 107,000 throughout the 12-month period ending in December 2021, according to provisional data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Synthetic, natural, and semi-natural opioids accounted for a bulk of those overdose deaths.
- More recently, drug deaths have fallen slightly to around 103,000 over the 12-month period ending in April 2022, the provisional data shows.
- The funding comes after the Biden administration sent its first national drug control strategy to Congress earlier this year.
What they're saying: "This funding goes to life-saving programs and policies," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a briefing Friday.
- "President Biden recognizes the devastating impact the opioid overdose epidemic has had on our nation, reaching large cities, small towns, tribal lands and every community in between," Jean-Pierre added.
The big picture: The funding comes from the Department of Health and Human Services' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the White House said.
- The grants will help states and territories boost access to treatment programs for substance use disorder and "remove barriers to public-health interventions like naloxone," which can quickly reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.
- The White House said that more than $104 million will go toward "public, private, and non-profit entities working to expand access to treatment and prevention services for substance use disorder in rural communities."
- $20.5 million in funding will also go toward organizations "that help connect individuals who have substance use disorders with community resources," the White House added.