Officials secure $6 billion over the next 2 years for opioid epi - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Officials secure $6 billion over the next 2 years for opioid epidemic

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As part of the bipartisan budget bill, $6 billion has been allocated to address the opioid epidemic over the next two years.

Senator Sherrod Brown and Senator Rob Portman also worked to extend two years of funding for Community Health Centers.

Brown says the secured $6 billion will go toward treatment centers, prevention and education, and screening devices to detect carfentanyl and fentanyl.

"Ohio has been hit harder than maybe any other state. We have more deaths in Ohio from opioid addiction overdose than any other state in the country. So Ohio will get a big chunk of money, and the Valley is suffering as much as about any other probably the Miami Valley has been hit a little harder," said Senator Brown. 

Portman says about 11 Ohioans die from drug overdoses every day and he hopes this money will help reduce that number. 

"We’ve made real progress in increasing opioid funding through the Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act and CURES over the past two years, but this crisis is overwhelming Ohio and our country. The funding in this proposal would be another important step in the fight against this epidemic, and CARA’s evidenced-based programs provide a good framework for how this new funding can be spent effectively," said Senator Portman.

It's not clear how much money Ohio will receive.

Brown and Portman also joined in a bipartisan letter requesting that funding for Community Health Centers be part of the next government funding bill.

Officials say funding for community health centers expired in September of last year. The bill announced on Wednesday will extend funding for those centers for the next two years. 

According to the Ohio Association of Community Health Centers, Ohio has 51 centers and serves more than 700,000 Ohioans.

Brown says that more of the money will go towards treatment centers who are dealing with waiting lists.

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