West Virginia Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R) and Joe Manchin (D) announced Wednesday that their home state would be eligible to receive $43 million in opioid relief funding through the State Opioid Response federal grant program.
Funded through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the grant amounts for each state are determined by a rubric that includes mortality rates, something Capito and Manchin prioritized to ensure that states hit hardest by the drug crisis received adequate funding.
The senators said without the mortality rates provision, authored by Capito, West Virginia would have received significantly less money.
“Our efforts must never waiver when it comes to the substance abuse epidemic,” Capito said. “With opioid overdose deaths down in West Virginia this past year, it is even more critical that we build on this momentum to provide the resources to help continue, expand, and strengthen our efforts to curb this epidemic. These resources are a critical component to support those suffering from addiction. Especially during the challenging and uncertain times like these, we must be there for our communities and our neighbors.”
The program provided $42 million to West Virginia in 2019.
“West Virginia has the highest overdose death rate per capita in the nation, and every West Virginian knows someone who has been affected by the opioid epidemic that has ravaged our state. I am glad to see SAMHSA investing in our communities to help expand our opioid response workforce and services and I look forward to seeing the impacts of these programs on our entire state. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I will continue to fight for West Virginia to receive the funding we need to combat the opioid epidemic facing our state and nation,” said Senator Manchin.
Since the program’s inception, the state has received more than $70 million in grants. West Virginia is also among the 10 states that have received the most money from the program over the past two years. California has received the most with $176 million, followed by Pennsylvania with $141 million, Ohio with $140 million and Florida with $126 million. Texas, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Illinois round out the states receiving the most funding from the program.
The SOR program provides funding for states to develop prevention, treatment, and recovery programs tailored to their own needs. The funds can be used for evidence-based medication treatments, psychosocial services, or community support.