Legislation recently introduced in the House of Representatives would create emergency grants during the COVID-19 pandemic for states and community-based organizations that deal with substance use disorder (SUD).
The Emergency Support for Substance Use Disorders Act would provide additional funding to support smaller organizations to continue addiction outreach and education. The 116th Congress introduced a previous version of the bill that was included in the HEROES Act.
Reps. John Katko (R-NY) and Annie Kuster (D-NH) introduced the bill.
“Local substance use disorder providers and nonprofits are grappling with an increase in the number of individuals misusing substances as well as safety precautions that make treatment and outreach more difficult during this pandemic,” Katko said. “By providing emergency support, we will ensure counties and local organizations have the ability to continue conducting outreach and providing assistance to those struggling with substance use during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, there has been an increase nationwide in anxiety, depression, trauma, and grief as a result of the pandemic.
Drug overdose deaths in the United States totaled more than 81,000 between July 2019 and June 2020, the highest number ever recorded for a 12-month period, according to the Centers for Disease Control.