Congress to boost opioid treatment, prevention dollars

Congress to boost opioid treatment, prevention dollars
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Congress is adding a multibillion-dollar boost to the omnibus to combat the opioid epidemic — an effort to bolster prevention, treatment and law enforcement initiatives to combat the crisis killing thousands of people each year.

The $1.3 trillion spending package allocates about $4 billion to the opioid epidemic, much of which is new money appropriated this year.  

The omnibus includes $1 billion in new grants to states and tribes to fight the epidemic, at least $500 million for a new National Institutes of Health (NIH) effort to research opioid addiction, a $350 million increase to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for prevention and surveillance, $130 million to help rural communities deal with the crisis, and more. 

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Money will also go to law enforcement, such as a nearly $300 million increase in law enforcement grant funding to combat the crisis.

The extra money was first agreed to in February, when Congress passed a budget deal that included $6 billion over two years for opioid and mental health efforts. Advocates had been pushing for more funding to fight the crisis, which saw a nearly 28 percent increase in opioid-related deaths from 2015 to 2016.

It comes as lawmakers on Capitol Hill are working to hash out opioid legislation to send to President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump cites tax cuts over judges as having biggest impact of his presidency Trump cites tax cuts over judges as having biggest impact of his presidency Ocasio-Cortez claps back at Trump after he cites her in tweet rejecting impeachment MORE’s desk.