OHIO VALLEY — U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) recently announced that $256,203 in federal opioid funding through the 21st Century CURES law has been distributed to the Alcohol, Drug, and Mental Health (ADAMH) board for Gallia, Jackson, and Meigs counties. The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction disbursed a total of $26 million through local ADAMH boards and statewide initiatives. This is the second year in a row Ohio has received opioid funding that Portman helped secure in the CURES law that Congress enacted in 2016.
“This is terrific news for Gallia, Jackson, and Meigs counties, and these new funds will help the communities’ efforts to combat the heroin and prescription drug epidemic gripping our state,” Portman said. “I was proud to help secure the opioid funding included in the CURES legislation, and I have seen firsthand how this law is making a difference across our state. This is another positive step forward, but we must do more, and that’s why I continue to push for common-sense solutions like the STOP Act and CARA 2.0 that will help us turn the tide of addiction in Ohio and around the country.”
The funding originates from the 21st Century CURES legislation enacted in December 2016 that provided $1 billion over two years nationally to fight the heroin and prescription drug epidemic. Portman urged that opioid funding be included in the CURES package, and the funding awarded to states can be used for improving prescription drug monitoring programs, prevention, training for health care workers, and improving access to treatment for individuals struggling with a substance use disorder.
This funding complements the additional resources Portman has secured through his Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) legislation and the additional $3 billion in opioid funding in the bipartisan budget agreement enacted earlier this year. Increasing funding is just one aspect of Portman’s efforts to combat this epidemic. The House recently passed Portman’s bipartisan Synthetics Trafficking & Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act, which would help stop dangerous synthetic drugs like fentanyl from being shipped into the U.S., and Portman is urging the Senate to pass it as quickly as possible. In addition, Portman’s bipartisan CARA 2.0 Act designed to build on the success of CARA and provide additional resources and strengthen the federal government’s response to this crisis.
“We’re definitely happy to receive the money. When CURES money (originally) presented, we set out to do something outside of what we normally do, outside your standard outpatient treatment, detox and other things,” said Gallia-Jackson-Meigs ADAMH Board Executive Director. “We were looking for something a little more cutting edge and aggressive. Hopewell Health Centers came to us with a proposal to do basically what we call rapid access which means if a person calls seeking treatment that they will be seen that day, if at all possible….This gets the person into see somebody within hours, ideally.”