A U.S. House of Representatives appropriations package passed last week includes funding to fight the addiction epidemic during the COVID-19 pandemic, officials said.
Rep. Chris Pappas (D-NH) said the bill, H.R. 7617 which provides appropriations for the Departments of Defense, Justice, Commerce, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Energy, Labor, Education, Health and Human Services, and other national priorities for 2021, includes an amendment he and Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) introduced that would add $8 million to the funding for the Comprehensive Opioid Recovery Centers.
“As our nation continues to grapple with the impacts of COVID-19, it is critical that Congress advances a funding package that reflects the needs of our country and our constituents, said Congressman Pappas. “From interruptions to treatment and recovery services to social isolation, Covid-19 has exacerbated the conditions that contribute to the addiction crisis in our state.”
The funding package also includes a $34 million increase in funding for grants through the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, bringing the total amounts of grants available to $412 million.
“The opioid epidemic continues to ravage families and communities throughout America, and far more help is needed to meet this challenge. Because of leaders like Congressman Pappas, this year’s appropriations bills expand federal investments that address substance use disorder,” House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rep. Nita M. Lowey (D-NY) said.
The bill also includes $1.85 billion for Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grants, $1.5 billion for State Opioid Response Grants, $102 million for Drug Free Community Grants, $41.7 million for the Mental Health and SUD Workforce Training Demonstration Program, and $17 million for the Substance Use Disorder Treatment Workforce Loan Repayment Program.
The bill will increase funding for the Comprehensive Opioid Recovery Centers by $ 8 million, provide an additional $10 million in grant money for local law enforcement agencies with fewer than 350 employees to get accredited, give $4 million in funding for the National Institute of Health Office of the Director to develop a joint COVID-19 response program with Israel, and $1 million for Manufacturing Extension Partnership to address supply chain challenges cause by COVID-19.