Leahy: CDC Releases $239,060 Grant To VT To Combat Opioid Epidemic

. . . Congress Included These Funds In Recently Enacted Appropriations Bill Under A Program The Trump Adm. Wants To Slash For Next Year

[The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week awarded more than $12 million to 23 states, including Vermont and the District of Columbia, to support their responses to the opioid overdose epidemic. The funds were made available through a bipartisan effort in Congress during negotiations over the fiscal year 2017 Omnibus Appropriations bill.  The grant to Vermont is $239,060.  As Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) played a central role in securing the funding to combat the opioid epidemic.  The funds will support all states that applied for funding through the Enhanced State Surveillance of Opioid-Involved Morbidity and Mortality (ESOOS) program and the Prescription Drug Overdose: Prevention for States (PfS) program.  The funds will be used to strengthen prevention efforts and to better track opioid-related overdoses. CDC expects to announce additional awards for state opioid overdose prevention programs later in the summer.]

“I hope these grants signal Secretary Price’s new appreciation for the importance of these much-needed resources to combat the opioid epidemic, because the Secretary has proposed to slash these same CDC programs by $50 million next year.  These grants were made possible with passage of the fiscal year 2017 Appropriations bill in April, and now states like Vermont are receiving funding that will allow for better tracking of heroin and opioid-related deaths and enhance prevention efforts. 

“Secretary Price’s and the President’s rhetoric have not yet matched the reality of the administration’s actions.  It’s about time that the administration finally joins Congress in taking this epidemic seriously.  After they have issued such a glowing release about the importance of these grants being issued this week, I am calling on them to withdraw their proposal to cut this vital program by $50 million next year.”

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