CDC Awards $12 Million to Combat Opioid Epidemic

New initiative will help fund surveillance technology to control the rate of opioid-related overdoses.

This week, the CDC announced they will be awarding more than $12 million to 23 states and the District of Columbia to aid in the fight against the opioid epidemic. The funding will bolster efforts to prevent and track opioid overdoses, according to a press release.

The CDC anticipates providing additional funding for state prevention programs later this year.

“The opioid epidemic is a scourge on our nation that knows no bounds,” said Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price, MD. “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 in the 2017 Omnibus Appropriations bill has allowed the CDC to provide financial assistance to 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, according to the release.

Under the ESOOS program, 20 states and the District of Columbia will receive $7.5 million to track and prevent opioid overdoses. Currently, 12 states receive funding to create and modify surveillance technology to control the rate of opioid-related overdoses.

States may use the assistance to: quickly report overdoses and risk factors for overdoses, share data with stakeholders, and share data with the CDC to support surveillance and response to overdoses, according to the release.

The CDC reports that new states receiving ESOOS funding include 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, in addition to the 12 states that received funding in 2016.

Under the PfS program, 8 states will receive $4.8 million to improve prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) and implement ways to improve prescribing guidelines.

New awardees include Arizona, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, North Carolina, and West Virginia, in addition to the 14 states that received funding in 2016.

The Increased funding is part of the HHS’s 5-point strategy to fight the opioid epidemic, which includes improving access to prevention, treatment, and recovery. The HHS is also increasing access to opioid overdose antidotes, strengthening timely public health data and reporting, supporting research efforts, and advancing pain management practices, according to the CDC.

“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, MD. “Supporting state efforts is crucial to stop these tragic losses.”