Collins, King Announce $605,230 in Funding to Help Combat the Heroin and Opioid Abuse Epidemic in Maine

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King today announced that two agencies within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have awarded grant funding totaling $605,230 to the State of Maine to help fight the heroin and opioid abuse epidemic. Maine will receive $371,616 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and $233,614 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to strengthen drug abuse prevention efforts and better track fatal and nonfatal opioid-involved overdoses in Maine.

“The heroin and opioid abuse crisis is devastating to individuals, families, and communities across Maine and the country,” Senators Collins and King said in a joint statement. “This funding will help Mainers on the front lines to better understand and combat the drug epidemic. We remain committed to working with our partners at all levels of government to marshal resources and gather information than can help address this burgeoning crisis.”

The SAMHSA funding is awarded through its Strategic Prevention Framework Partnerships for Prescription Drug Grants program. The grant program provides an opportunity for states 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 CDC funding is awarded through its Enhanced State Surveillance of Opioid-Involved Morbidity and Mortality program. The grant funding will be used 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.