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Budget deal includes $6 billion to fight opioid abuse

Budget deal includes $6 billion to fight opioid abuse
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A bipartisan Senate budget deal includes $6 billion for opioid addiction and mental health, Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerCapitol insurrection fallout: A PATRIOT Act 2.0? Schumer calls for DOJ watchdog to probe alleged Trump effort to oust acting AG Student loan forgiveness would be windfall for dentists, doctors and lawyers MORE (D-N.Y.) said.

Advocates have been calling for more funding to combat the increasing deaths from opioid overdoses, which are now killing more Americans than car accidents.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden leans on Obama-era appointees on climate Kentucky Republican committee rejects resolution urging McConnell to condemn Trump impeachment Calls grow for 9/11-style panel to probe Capitol attack MORE (R-Ky.) and Schumer announced the deal on the Senate floor Wednesday afternoon.

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“This agreement will also bolster our ongoing national struggle against opioid addiction and substance abuse,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. “It will fund new grants, prevention programs and law enforcement efforts in vulnerable communities all across our country.”

In late October, President TrumpDonald TrumpNYT: Rep. Perry played role in alleged Trump plan to oust acting AG Arizona GOP censures top state Republicans McCain, Flake and Ducey Biden and UK prime minister discuss NATO, multilateralism during call MORE declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency, a move the administration extended another 90 days in mid-January. The move didn’t free up millions of dollars, nor did it include a funding ask to Congress.

Many advocates and Democrats have criticized the measure as not having much of an impact to date, arguing more funding is needed.

New Hampshire Democratic Sens. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenBipartisan Senate gang to talk with Biden aide on coronavirus relief Bipartisan group of senators: The election is over Seven Senate races to watch in 2022 MORE and Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanBipartisan Senate gang to talk with Biden aide on coronavirus relief Bipartisan group of senators: The election is over Seven Senate races to watch in 2022 MORE introduced a proposal in January to provide $25 billion to the opioid epidemic over two years.

Passed in 2016, the 21st Century Cures bill provided $1 billion over two years in state grants to fight the opioid epidemic.

The opioid crisis has hit both urban and rural communities across the country, and overdose deaths increased nearly 28 percent between 2015 and 2016, according to December data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.