Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) issued the following statement following the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) announcement of State Opioid Response Grants:
“More than 2 million Americans will suffer from addiction to opioids in 2018,” said Congressman Barr. “This epidemic is a crisis that touches nearly every one of our lives – across all demographics, regions, and states. After meeting with many organizations and Kentuckians on the front lines, it was evident that more local resources were needed to respond to the growing and changing crisis and it’s why I have made it one of my top priorities in Congress. With this investment, Kentucky will now have the resources it needs for local communities to better provide prevention, treatment and recovery services to families struggling with addiction.”
Earlier this year, Congress passed and President Trump signed into law H.R. 1625, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, which included the largest investment to date to address prevention, treatment and enforcement initiatives to combat the opioid epidemic.
Included in this allocation of funds was $1 billion in new funding for the State Opioid Response Grants that offers states flexibility to address the opioid epidemic on the local level. Of these funds, 15 percent would be set aside for states with the highest mortality rate related to drug overdose deaths – Kentucky being one of those as the Commonwealth suffers from the third highest opioid overdose mortality rate in the nation.
Additionally, Congressman Barr offered an amendment to H.R. 1625 that increased funding for the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Program to $280 million to increase efforts to fight drug trafficking in Eastern Kentucky and other areas ravaged by drug addiction and overdoses.
All of this funding is in addition to $10.5 million awarded to Kentucky earlier this year through the 21st Century Cures Act.