Ohio awarded over $21.5M to combat opioid crisis

Ohio

FILE – This Monday, June 17, 2019, file photo, shows 5-mg pills of Oxycodone. Two Ohio counties are asking a judge to find that drugmakers and distributors were not allowed to ship suspicious orders of controlled substances to pharmacies. If a judge sides with the request from Cuyahoga and Summit counties, it would clear the way for the governments to assert that drug companies ignored the regulations as a nationwide opioid crisis continued to grow. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – Over 21 million dollars was awarded to Ohio Thursday to help combat the opioid crisis.

The investments made by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), totaling $21,504,550, will allow HRSA-funded community health centers, rural organizations, and academic institutions supporting Ohio residents to establish and expand access to integrated substance use disorder and mental health services.

“Health centers and behavioral health providers are on the front lines of the fight against the opioid crisis and substance abuse, especially in rural communities,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “With our evidence-based strategy, HHS is working to support local communities in fighting back against substance abuse, and our united efforts are yielding results. Together, we can end our country’s opioid crisis and lay a foundation for a healthier country where every American can access the mental healthcare they need.”   

The award supports HHS’s Five-Point Opioid Strategy, which was introduced under President Trump in 2017. HRSA-funded health centers increased 142 percent from 2016 to 2018, and since President Trump took office, the number of patients receiving buprenorphine, a common form of MAT, has increased 28 percent.

“HRSA programs play a key role in the Trump Administration’s efforts to battle the nation’s opioid crisis,” said HRSA Acting Administrator Tom Engels. “From implementing and expanding substance use disorder services at HRSA-funded health centers to increasing support and training to our nation’s behavioral health workforce to improving access to treatment in rural areas, today’s announcement demonstrates the Administration’s commitment to ending this crisis.”

The state of Ohio is receiving $7,181,000 to increase access to high quality, integrated behavioral health services, including the prevention or treatment of mental health conditions and/or substance use disorders including opioid use disorder through the Integrated Behavioral Health Services (IBHS) program.

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