White House rolls out $1.5bn in new funding to combat opioid crisis

The Biden administration is marking National Recovery Month by rolling out $1.5bn in funding to combat the opioid overdose epidemic and support programmes to help Americans recover from opioid use disorders.

According to the White House, the $1.5bn will be available to all 50 states, US territories and tribal governments as part of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s State Opioid Response and Tribal Opioid Response grant programme, which provides funding “increase access to treatment for substance use disorder, remove barriers to public-health interventions like naloxone, and expand access to recovery support services such as 24/7 Opioid Treatment Programs”.

The White House said the funds will also permit states to increase their own expenditures for overdose education, peer support programmes, and other strategies “that will help save lives in hard-hit communities”.

“President Biden recognizes the devastating impact the overdose epidemic has had on this nation – reaching large cities, small towns, tribal lands, and every community in between. That’s why in his first State of the Union, President Biden made beating the opioid crisis a key pillar of his Unity Agenda, and outlined critical actions the Biden-Harris Administration is taking to address this crisis and support the tens of millions of Americans in recovery,” the White House said in a statement.

Additionally, the Food and Drug Administration announced new guidelines for distribution of products containing naloxone, which can stop or reverse opioid overdoses. The White House said the new guidance “helps to address some of the obstacles that have existed in obtaining access to naloxone and may help eligible community-based programs acquire FDA-approved drugs directly from manufacturers and distributors”.