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April 24, 2018

Maine receives $2M grant to fight the opioid crisis

Collins photo Courtesy / MEDILL DC, FLICKR; King photo Courtesy / U.S. Naval War College, FLICKR
Collins photo Courtesy / MEDILL DC, FLICKR; King photo Courtesy / U.S. Naval War College, FLICKR
U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Angus King, I-Maine, announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will award slightly more than $2 million to Maine to fight the heroin and opioid abuse epidemic.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will award slightly more than $2 million to Maine to fight the heroin and opioid abuse epidemic.

Nationwide the department is releasing nearly $485 million in funding to all 50 states to combat drug addiction.

"The astonishing rate of overdoses has increased rapidly in recent years and has shown no signs of abating," U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Angus King, I-Maine, said in a joint statement announcing Maine's award. "Last year, overdoses claimed the life of more than one Mainer per day, making this one of the top causes of death in our state and affecting far too many families and communities in Maine and across the country. This funding will support vital programs that provide hope, recovery, and healing to Mainers who are struggling with addiction."

The funding provided by HHS was authorized through the 21st Century Cures Act, which was championed by Collins and King and signed into law in December 2016. That act included five provisions authored by Collins.

Earlier this month, Collins introduced three bipartisan bills to combat the opioid and heroin abuse epidemic.

Last year, according to Collins and King's joint news release, there were a record 418 deaths from drug overdose in Maine, an 11% increase compared to the year before.

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