State gets $15 million from feds to fight opioid epidemic

Posted at 2:10 p.m. on November 3, 2017

The Brillion News

MADISON – The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will allocate $7,636,938, for a second year to support the state’s efforts to bring prevention, treatment, and recovery support services to those affected by the opioid epidemic.

“This funding is critical to ensuring we are aggressive and strategic in our efforts to fight this public health crisis, which is affecting so many people here in Wisconsin, and across the country,” Governor Scott Walker said. “The grant money has already allowed us to implement recommendations from the Governor’s Task Force on Opioid Abuse, which is focused on ending this epidemic and saving lives.”

827 people died in 2016 in Wisconsin due to opioid-related overdoses, including heroin and prescription pain killers.

Under the grant, which was first awarded in April, 2017, Wisconsin is implementing evidence-based practices to fighting the opioid epidemic, including:

  1. Allocating $2.4 million to 16 counties and three tribal communities to expand access to opioid use disorder treatment including medication-assisted treatment. Services are currently being provided.

  2. Awarding $1.4 million to Wisconsin Voices for Recovery to work with community organizations across the state to place recovery coaches in hospital emergency rooms to assist individuals who have come to the ER because of an opioid overdose.

  3. Awarding $60,000 to a community organization for recovery coach training to reach individuals in need of opioid use disorder treatment and assist them in receiving services.

  4. Coordinating and hosting events for physicians, physician assistants, and advance nurse practitioners to educate them on the benefits of providing medication-assisted treatment.

  5. Improving data tracking through the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP).

  6. Creating at least three new regional opioid treatment centers that will provide medication assisted treatment, and expanding services to under served, high need areas of the state.

  7. Supporting local coalitions to improve prevention and education.

The grant funding is available under the 21st Century Cures Act. The amount of the grant is based on the unmet need for opioid-related treatment and the number of opioid-related deaths in the state. Wisconsin was granted the maximum amount allowable to the state under the eligibility requirements.

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