Hawaii to receive $4M in opioid relief grants

Hawaii to receive $4M in opioid relief grants

Hawaii will receive more than $4 million in state grants to combat the substance abuse disorder crisis in that state, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) announced Friday.

Part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration state response grants, the $4,001,647 in federal funding will have the flexibility to combat opioids and methamphetamines. This is the first year states will be able to use the funding to combat stimulants.

Schatz called for flexibility in December 2019, after identifying the need in his state.

“Meth misuse and addiction has been a serious problem in Hawaii for decades, but recently the meth-related death rate has skyrocketed,” Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said. “This grant will help us put critical resources towards saving lives and combating this crisis.”

According to his office, Hawaii’s methamphetamines-related death rate is nearly three times higher than the national average. In 2016, Hawaii had 6.8 meth-related deaths per 100,000 residents, compared to the national meth-related death rate of 2.4 deaths per 100,000 people.

Meth-related deaths have outpaced opioid-related deaths on the island state each of the past five years.

Grants money can be used across the state on prevention, treatment, and recovery services support programs.