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Baldwin Announces Over $17.7 Million to Tackle Fentanyl and Opioid Crisis in Wisconsin

Wisconsin receives increased funding following the passage of Baldwin-led legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS), announced over $17.7 million in State Opioid Response grants are now being made available to the State of Wisconsin to combat the fentanyl and opioid epidemic. As LHHS Chair, Senator Baldwin wrote the government funding bill that funds the opioid response program and successfully fought to get it signed into law. Senator Baldwin also led the charge to improve the reach of the funding through her State Opioid Response Grant Authorization Act, giving Wisconsin increased funding and more flexibility in administering the federal investments.

“I know firsthand the heartbreak of watching a loved one struggle with addiction to opioids and all the challenges of getting help. For our friends, family, loved ones, and neighbors, we have to do more to stop the opioid and fentanyl crisis, and I am proud to be part of the solution,” said Senator Tammy Baldwin. “Our state and local communities on the front lines need resources to confront this epidemic, and that’s why I fought tooth and nail to bring home more funding to help them respond to this crisis and save lives.”

“The opioid epidemic deserves our urgent action and attention as we continue to see alarming and concerning rates of opioid misuse and overdose deaths across our state," said Gov. Evers. “Together with partners like Senator Baldwin, who's always working tirelessly to bring critical resources home to Wisconsin, we’ll be able to connect the dots and increase access to treatment and recovery services to prevent and reduce opioid use disorder and overdose deaths and ensure that folks have access to the care and support they need."

The State Opioid Response program provides communities and states with resources to increase access to prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery services for substance use disorders. In 2022, Senators Baldwin and Shaheen (D-NH) introduced the State Opioid Response Grant Authorization Act to give local and Tribal communities resources to better combat the opioid and substance use disorder epidemic. The legislation, signed into law in 2022, improved opioid response grants by providing additional investments in and flexibility for states and Tribal communities.

Since 2019, fentanyl overdoses have been the leading cause of death for Americans aged 18-45, and in 2022, Wisconsin experienced over 1,400 opioid-related deaths. From 2018 to 2023, State Opioid Response grant recipients have reported over 550,000 overdose reversals, approximately 9.8 million naloxone kits and 7 million fentanyl test strips distributed, and 78% of people who received treatment through the opioid response grant reported they did not use illicit drugs at their six-month follow-up.