Donovan-Backed Budget Agreement Increases Funding For Opioid Abuse Treatment and Prevention
Washington, DC – May 2, 2017….The funding agreement expected to pass Congress this week doubles down on the federal government’s commitment to providing the resources needed to turn the tide in the battle against opioid addiction. The Donovan-supported budget funds the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at $3.6 billion, which is $130.5 million more than the previous administration’s budget request and $150 million more than last year’s allocation. SAMHSA is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that administers programs and grants to reduce substance abuse and mental illness. Combined with $500 million in funding authorized by the 21st Century Cures Act, which became law late last year, the agreement supports a total increase in opioid abuse initiatives of $650 million for Fiscal Year 2017.
Donovan said, “Fighting the opioid epidemic is a cornerstone of my time in Congress, and a project that will likely take years. The federal government can’t win the battle from Washington, but we can provide the tools and resources necessary for the local experts in the trenches. That’s what we’ve done here, and it’s the right strategy.”
Last month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services began the process of distributing the first $485 million of State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grants. The new grants were created in the 21st Century Cures Act, landmark legislation that Donovan cosponsored before it became law late last year. Generally, Congress allocates grant funding to SAMHSA, which administers the programs. Funding then goes to state and local jurisdictions and to private nonprofit entities through a grant application process.
In addition to supporting additional funding for education and treatment, Donovan also recently reintroduced his Comprehensive Fentanyl Control Act, which would increase criminal penalties for fentanyl traffickers. The synthetic opioid is 50 times more powerful than heroin and is responsible for more than half of overdose deaths in New York City.