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States to share $485 million in grants to fight opioid crisis

HHS Secretary Tom Price plans to focus on public health surveillance and the availability of overdose-reversing drugs.

Bernie Monegain, Editor, Healthcare IT News

The Department of Health and Human Services will give all 50 states a total $485 million in grants to help them fight the opioid addiction crisis that is gripping the country.

The funding, announced by HHS Secretary Tom Price on Wednesday, will be disbursed in two funding rounds provided for in the 21st Century Cures Act through the State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grants.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration administers the grants to support prevention, treatment, and recovery services depending on the needs of in each state.

[Also: President Obama signs 21st Century Cures Act into law funding precision medicine, Cancer Moonshot]

In a letter to the state governors, Price wrote that addressing this public health crisis is among his top three priorities and noted opioids were responsible for 33,000 deaths in 2015.

To combat the opioid crisis, HHS has prioritized five strategies: Strengthening public health surveillance; advancing the practice of pain management; improving access to treatment and recovery services; targeting availability and distribution of overdose-reversing drugs; and supporting cutting-edge research.

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