Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME) announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded the State of Maine $2.3 million to help combat the opioid epidemic. The State Opioid Response grants are administered by HHS’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) and aim to address the opioid crisis by increasing medication-assisted treatment.
“No community is immune from this heartbreaking epidemic that has taken a toll on far too many of our peers, friends, and neighbors” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “This important funding continues Maine’s efforts to fight the opioid crisis by expanding access to treatment and recovery support services.”
HHS has released a total of $500 million of the $1.5 billion State Opioid Response grants. The remaining $1 billion in grant funding will be released in September.
The funding provided by HHS was authorized through the 21st Century Cures Act, which was championed by Senators Collins and King and signed into law in December 2016. That Act included five provisions authored by Senator Collins.
In 2017, overdoses claimed the life of more than one Mainer per day, making this one of the top causes of death in the state. In 2016, there were more than 63,600 drug overdose deaths nationally.
SAMHSA also operates a 24/7, national helpline that people can call to find treatment referral resources for mental health or substance use disorders: 800-662-HELP (4357).