Southwest Ohio receives $2.1M to help address opioid crisis

Three Southwest Ohio counties have collectively received $2.1 million in grant funding to in their mission to prevent and treat those addicted to opioids.

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Site-based Program awarded Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act grants to Butler, Hamilton and Warren counties, which will support the development of partnerships between first responders and treatment providers who respond to overdoses.

MORE: Lawmakers say more to be done in addressing opioid crisis

“These CARA grants will help our law enforcement and first responders on the frontlines in Butler, Hamilton and Warren counties to combat this crisis as we work together to help turn the tide of addiction,” said U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Cincinnati, who introduced CARA which was signed into law in 2016. “We need more partnerships between the federal government, state and local health officials, prevention experts, treatment providers, and law enforcement to work together to address this epidemic.”

Portman lobbied the Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance to consider awarding the Butler County Mental Health Addiction Recovery Services Board, Hamilton County Board of County Commissioners and Warren County grant funding.

Butler County’s MHARS Board was awarded $797,749, which will assist in expanding overdose outreach and diversion efforts in municipal courts, training and education for first responders, teachers and children’s services workers, and outreach and prevention services to children impacted by substance abuse.

Additionally, the board plans to incorporate a research partner through Miami University to develop evidence-based approaches to engaging children of opiate-addicted parents.

OPIOID SERIES: Pace of overdose deaths has slowed this year in Butler County

Hamilton County was awarded $500,000, which sought the money on behalf of the Hamilton County Heroin Coalition, and Warren County was awarded $800,000, which will seek to create and evaluate a rapid response intervention program for children known as Child Assessment and Response Evaluation, or CARE.

"I'm pleased that my CARA legislation is making a difference," said Portman. "Recently, Congress passed by my bipartisan (Synthetics Trafficking & Overdose Prevention) Act, legislation to help stop dangerous synthetic drugs like fentanyl from being shipped into our communities, and lifted the cap on Medicaid funding for residential treatment facilities through my bipartisan Improving CARE Act. These measures will be signed into law next week."

Portman also authored the Drug-Free Communities Act to help stand up community-based coalitions to prevent drug abuse during his time in the House of Representatives, secured $1 billion in new funding for state grants to fight opioid abuse in the bipartisan 21st Century CURES Act. The Senate has passed hisSTOP Act.

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