Senator Collins Announces $132 Million to Combat Heroin and Opioid Abuse Epidemic

Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, announced today that the Senate Appropriations Committee has approved $132 million to combat the heroin and opioid abuse crisis.  The legislation was unanimously approved by the Committee and will now be considered by the full Senate.

“I appreciate the investments this bill makes to address the heroin and opioid abuse crisis that is having a devastating effect on individuals, families, and communities in Maine and throughout the country,” said Senator Collins. “As the heroin and opioid epidemic spreads across our states, support for education, treatment, and law enforcement at all levels is critical to preventing these harmful drugs from devastating our communities.”

The bill includes $10 million for the COPS Anti-Heroin Task Force, which is an increase of $3 million from the previous fiscal year.  The Task Force supports competitive grants to law enforcement with high per capita levels of primary treatment admissions for heroin and other opioids.  In September 2015, the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency at Augusta received nearly $400,000 through this program.

“I am pleased that this bill increases our investment in the COPS Anti-Heroin Task Force, funding for which I advocated,” said Senator Collins.  “This competitive grant program has helped some of the communities hit hardest by the heroin and opioid abuse epidemic, including many in Maine.”

Some of the additional provisions directed toward the heroin and opioid abuse crisis include:

  • $12.5 million for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s request for four new heroin enforcement squads.
  • $14 million for the Justice Department’s grant programs that provide prevention and treatment opportunities.
  • $14 million for prescription drug monitoring.
  • $43 million for drug courts.