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Trump admin awards over $1 billion in grants to fight opioid epidemic

Trump admin awards over $1 billion in grants to fight opioid epidemic
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The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Wednesday that it has awarded more than $1 billion in grants to states, communities and organizations fighting the opioid crisis.

The vast majority of that funding — $930 million — is intended to support states' efforts to provide treatment and prevention services to combat opioid abuse.

Another $352 million was awarded to 1,232 community health centers to increase access to services for substance use disorder and mental health needs.

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An additional $194 million in grant funds were also awarded to states to conduct research on the opioid epidemic and to ramp up response and prevention activities. 

“Addressing the opioid crisis with all the resources possible and the best science we have is a top priority for President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Guardian slams Trump over comments about assault on reporter Five takeaways from the first North Dakota Senate debate Watchdog org: Tillerson used million in taxpayer funds to fly throughout US MORE and for everyone at HHS,” HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement.

“The more than $1 billion in additional funding that we provided this week will build on progress we have seen in tackling this epidemic through empowering communities and families on the frontlines.”

The Trump administration noted that most of the funding for the grants was appropriated by Congress earlier this year.

The Senate passed a package of bills this week aimed at curbing the opioid crisis in the U.S., which killed an estimated 50,000 people last year.

Leaders in the House and Senate will now work together to hammer out the differences between their two bills before holding final votes and sending the final legislation to the president for his signature.

A key part of both packages is the STOP Act, which would crack down on the shipment of deadly, synthetic opioids into the U.S. from other countries.