Minnesota is set to receive $16.6 million in federal grants that will be given to foundations and organizations committed to fighting the opioid epidemic.
More than 30 different agencies will receive grants from the federal fund, and the goal is to reach and help more than 110,000 Minnesotans who are seeking treatment for opioid dependency. Most of the money will go to existing programs to launch new efforts or expand current efforts in combating the opioid crisis.
“These grants are designed to build on what we are doing,” said Minnesota Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper.
The Opioid Problem In Minnesota
According to health data, there were nearly 2,500 opioid-related overdoses last year, and 376 of those overdoses were fatal. There were more than 3.5 million prescriptions written for opioid painkillers in Minnesota in 2016.
The federal grant will go to a number of specific places and programs, including:
- More widespread availability of naloxone, a key substance in helping save people who have overdosed on painkillers.
- Expanding medication-assisted treatment.
- Increasing aid and resources on American Indian reservations.
- Adding opioid-specific care providers throughout the state.
- Establishing a program to help unborn and newborn babies of mothers with opioid dependencies.
There has also been a push for more regulation at the national level from Minnesota lawmakers. A presidential opioid crisis commission recommended that President Trump support two bills proposal by Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar. The first would require more monitoring of drug prescriptions and the second would attempt to reduce the number of opioids that are being illegally distributed through the US mail system.
Thomas Cohn, MD
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