Maryland’s delegates from both houses of Congress and from both sides of the aisle joined together Friday to announce their state had received more than $50 million in federal funding to combat the opioid crisis in that state.
U.S. Sens. Chris Van Hollen (D) and Ben Cardin (D), as well as Reps. Steny Hoyer (D), Dutch Ruppersberger (D), John Sarbanes (D), Andy Harris (R), Anthony Brown (D), Jamie Raskin (D), Kweisi Mfume (D), and David Trone (D) announced that Maryland would receive $50,751,132 in federal funding for the Maryland Department of Health to support efforts to combat opioid use disorder and opioid overdoses.
“For individuals living with opioid addiction and substance use disorders, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it harder to access treatment and recovery services,” the lawmakers said in a statement. “This new federal funding will deliver immediate resources to our state, strengthen our response to the opioid crisis and expand prevention, treatment, and behavioral health services across Maryland.”
Funding for the grants comes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) State Opioid Response grants and Tribal Opioid Response Grants programs. Ultimately, the two programs will award nearly $3 billion over the next two years to fund state and tribe programs for people in need of prevention, treatment, and recovery services.
In comparison, the grant programs awarded more than $930 million in State Opioid Response grants and $50 million in Tribal Opioid Response grants in 2018.
According to SAMHSA, grant money can be used on programs to increase access to treatment, reduce unmet treatment needs, and reduce opioid overdose related deaths.