U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.) have announced $10,036,845 in federal funding to fight Maryland’s opioid health crisis. The grant is funded by the 21st Century Cures Act, which was backed by both Senator Cardin and Senator Van Hollen and signed into law by President Obama in 2016. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will provide the funds through the State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grants, which is administered by HHS’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
“Last year’s passage of the bipartisan 21st Century Cures Act was an important step forward in our efforts to combat opioid addiction and confront this public health crisis,” said Senator Van Hollen. “I’m pleased that Maryland is now getting additional resources to help those suffering from addiction. We must continue to fight to finally turn the tide on this heartbreaking epidemic.”
“The primary job of the federal government is to keep our citizens safe and healthy, which is precisely what this investment in Maryland’s opioid response efforts aims to do. I was proud to support the 21st Century Cures Act that made this grant a reality, and thank President Obama for having worked so closely with us to see it through,” said Senator Cardin. “Between 2014 and 2015, opioid-related deaths in Maryland rose by 22.6 percent. That number is shocking, and indicates a rapidly growing, nationwide health crisis. This funding must represent the beginning of a comprehensive response.”
Grants are being awarded to all 50 states, as well as the District of Colombia, totaling $485 million nationwide. The 21st Century Cures Act authorizes the funds for opioid abuse response efforts, such as implementing prevention programs, training healthcare workers, and expanding access to opioid treatment programs.