Senator Collins Announces $816 Million to Combat Opioid Abuse Clears Key Hurdle

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Susan Collins announced today that the Appropriations Committee has approved $816 million – a $665 million increase over the past two years – for the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) opioid abuse treatment and prevention programs. Senator Collins is a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

“The heroin and opioid epidemic is a nationwide crisis devastating far too many families and communities. In 2016, there were a record 376 overdose deaths in Maine, the vast majority due to heroin or prescription opioids, and the problem is only getting worse,” said Senator Collins. “I am delighted that the Committee approved our bill that will help break the cycle of addiction by boosting prevention efforts and expanding treatment options.”

The $816 million in funding includes $15 million for a new opioid prevention program within the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), $126 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) prevention programs, and an additional $22.6 million to the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Drug Abuse.

The bill directs $500 million to State opioid crisis grants. These grants were authorized through the 21st Century Cures Act, a bill that was championed by Senator Collins and signed into law in December 2016.