08.31.16

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Applauds Investments in Wisconsin to Address the Heroin and Opioid Epidemic

Senator Baldwin announced funds for Wisconsin at community roundtable in Superior on the heroin and opioid epidemic

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin applauded the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) announcement awarding $2,576,107 for Wisconsin to help address the opioid and heroin epidemic. Senator Baldwin announced the funding at a community roundtable on the opioid and heroin epidemic that she hosted in Superior today.

“I’ve held roundtables across the state and heard from local law enforcement, health providers, families, elected officials on both sides of the aisle, and people working on the front lines to combat this crisis. I have also heard the stories from families who have lost loved ones,” said Senator Baldwin. “Today’s funding announcement is welcome news, but from what I am hearing today and across the state, Wisconsin communities need more. We need Washington to act immediately to provide additional emergency investments for local prevention, treatment and recovery efforts. Until we do, our job is not done and local communities will be without the support they need to effectively combat this crisis in Wisconsin.”

Senator Baldwin has held roundtable discussions on the heroin and opioid epidemic in Green Bay, La Crosse, Wausau, Viroqua, Ashland and Superior this year. This month, Senator Baldwin renewed her call for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to schedule a vote on legislation to provide funding to address the opioid and heroin epidemic when Congress returns to session after Labor Day. The legislation, introduced by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and cosponsored by Baldwin, would provide supplemental appropriations totaling $600 million to support the work of first responders, healthcare providers, and law enforcement as they continue to respond to this national emergency. In March, the legislation did not receive enough support from Senate Republicans to pass the Senate.

Today’s funding announcement is part of $53 million that HHS is awarding to 44 States, four tribes and the District of Columbia to improve access to treatment, reduce opioid related deaths, and strengthen prevention efforts. In total, Wisconsin will receive $2,576,107 with $1,371,616 coming from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and $1,204,491 coming from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Wisconsin’s funding from SAMHSA and CDC will be administered through the following programs:

  • The Prescription Drug Opioid Overdose Prevention Grants from SAMHSA to reduce opioid overdose-related deaths. Funding will support training on prevention of opioid overdose-related deaths as well as the purchase and distribution of naloxone to first responders. 
  • The Strategic Prevention Framework Partnerships for Prescription Drugs Grants from SAMHSA to strengthen drug abuse prevention efforts. The grant program provides an opportunity for states and tribal entities that have completed a Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant to target the priority issue of prescription drug misuse. The program is designed to raise awareness about the dangers of sharing medications and work with pharmaceutical and medical communities on the risks of overprescribing. The program also seeks to raise community awareness and bring prescription drug abuse prevention activities and education to schools, communities, parents, prescribers, and their patients.
  • The Prescription Drug Overdose: Prevention for States program from the CDC. This supplemental funding will support the ongoing work of awardees, allowing awardees to address issues such as high overdose death rates in tribal communities and improve toxicology and drug screening. States can use this funding to enhance prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs), further prevention efforts, and execute and evaluate strategies to improve safe prescribing practices.
  • The Enhanced State Surveillance of Opioid-Involved Morbidity and Mortality program from the CDC to better track fatal and nonfatal opioid-involved overdoses. States will use the funding to:
    • Increase the timeliness of reporting nonfatal and fatal opioid overdose and associated risk factors;
    • Disseminate surveillance findings to key stakeholders working to prevent opioid-involved overdoses; and
    • Share data with CDC to support improved multi-state surveillance of and response to opioid-involved overdoses.