The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will be awarding this week more than $12 million to 23 states and the District of Columbia to support their responses to the opioid overdose epidemic. The funds will be used to strengthen prevention efforts and better track of opioid-related overdoses. CDC expects to announce additional funding awards for state opioid overdose prevention programs later in the summer.
“The opioid epidemic is a scourge on our nation that knows no bounds,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, M.D. “President Trump and we at HHS are working to support states on the front lines of this national crisis. This new support from CDC, funded by the appropriations bill President Trump signed in May, will help states and local authorities track this epidemic and respond in real time.”
Increased funding for opioids in the fiscal year (FY) 2017 Omnibus Appropriations bill is allowing CDC to support all states that have applied for funding through the Enhanced State Surveillance of Opioid-Involved Morbidity and Mortality (ESOOS) program and the Prescription Drug Overdose: Prevention for States (PfS) program.
Under the ESOOS program, $7.5 million will go to 20 additional states and the District of Columbia to better track and prevent opioid-involved nonfatal and fatal overdoses. This cooperative agreement already provides funds to 12 states to develop and adapt surveillance systems to address the rising rate of overdoses attributable to opioids, including a specific focus on heroin and synthetic opioids such as illicitly manufactured fentanyl.
States can use the ESOOS funds to:
- More quickly report nonfatal and fatal opioid overdose and risk factors linked to fatal overdoses.
- Share data with key stakeholders working to prevent opioid-involved overdoses.
- Share data with CDC to support improved multi-state surveillance of and response to opioid-involved overdoses.
New ESOOS awardees are Alaska, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington. Added to the 12 states that received funding last year, this brings the total number of states receiving ESOOS funds to 32 and the District of Columbia.
Under the PfS program, $4.8 million will go to an additional eight states. This supplemental funding will allow states to enhance prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) and implement and evaluate strategies to improve safe opioid prescribing practices.
New PfS supplemental awardees are Arizona, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, North Carolina, and West Virginia. They join the 14 PfS states that received funding last year.
“More than 90 Americans lose their lives to the opioid overdose epidemic every day, which is devastating to their communities and families,” said CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D. “Supporting state efforts is crucial to stop these tragic losses.”
The expanded funding is part of the Department of Health and Human Services’ five-point strategy to fight the opioid epidemic by:
- Improving access to prevention, treatment and recovery services, including the full range of medication-assisted treatment;
- Targeting availability and distribution of overdose-reversing drugs;
- Strengthening timely public health data and reporting;
- Supporting cutting-edge research on pain and addiction; and
- Advancing better practices for pain management.