White House sending nearly half-billion dollars to tackle overdose crisis
The Biden administration on Thursday announced it's providing an additional $450 million toward expanding overdose prevention strategies to beat back an epidemic killing more than 100,000 Americans each year.
Why it matters: The new money could help address system-wide failures that experts say have allowed overdose deaths to soar in recent years, such as limited treatment options, housing services and data to track the crisis.
Details: More than half ($279 million) is going to state and local health departments to improve overdose data surveillance and identify gaps in prevention and treatment strategies.
- Over $80 million is headed to rural communities to expand treatment sites and the distribution of the overdose reversal treatment naloxone.
- Nearly $58 million is to connect people to recovery support, which includes mental health care, housing services and job training.
- About $19 million is slated for dismantling fentanyl trafficking operations, with roughly $7 million allocated toward expanding "Crime Gun Intelligence Centers" to track gun-related drug crimes.
What they're saying: The increase in fentanyl deaths is slowing, but lethal substances like xylazine and fentanyl analogues continue to pose a threat and require more resources, said a senior administration official.
Catch up quick: Biden proposed $46.1 billion for national drug control programs in March.
- Last September, the administration gave $1.5 billion in funding to curb the opioid crisis.
Yes, but: Treatments for opioid use disorder aren't guaranteed to reach those most in need of it.
- And as the first opioid overdose treatment hits the shelves in September, advocates and addiction experts worry the price is too high for widespread use.