WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, R-Mo., chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor/HHS), recently announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has invested an additional $18 million in grant funding to help communities combat the opioid epidemic. With the funding announced, Missouri has received a total of $28 million this year through the State Opioid Response grant program.

Blunt worked to include $1.5 billion for State Opioid Response grants in the FY2019 Labor/HHS appropriations bill, which was signed into law in September 2018. As Labor/HHS chairman, Blunt has led efforts to increase resources for programs targeting the opioid epidemic.

“The opioid epidemic continues to hurt people of all backgrounds in communities across our state,” said Blunt. “Preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that, from 2017 to 2018, opioid overdose deaths in Missouri increased by about 16 percent.

"This investment will provide key resources to expand access to prevention, treatment, and recovery services — especially in areas that need it most. Making sure Missouri communities have the support they need to get this public health crisis under control will continue to be a top priority of mine.”

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State Opioid Response grants provide flexible funding to states to implement opioid use disorder interventions in the best way that fits their needs, and are awarded through the Health Resources and Services Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Missouri has received $46.3 million over the past two years through the State Opioid Response grant program.

Blunt prioritized $3.8 billion for opioid programs in the FY2019 Labor/HHS appropriations bill. Under Blunt’s chairmanship, funding for opioid-related Labor/HHS programs has increased by more than $3.5 billion over four years.

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