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Oklahoma to receive 11.8 million in additonal federal funds to combat opioid epidemic - 9/6/2019

Oklahoma will receive an additional $11.8 million in federal funds to help battle the opioid crisis, the Trump administration announced Wednesday.

The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services will be given $7,650,315 in new federal funds, while the Oklahoma State Department of Health will receive $4,191,979, the administration announced.

The funds are part of $1.8 billion that will be distributed nationally to help states combat the opioid epidemic, federal officials said.

The Oklahoma Health Department will use a portion of the nearly $4.2 million that it will receive to improve its ability to quickly and accurately collect data on drug overdoses, said Tony Sellars, spokesman for the Health Department.

The money will be used for many other programs as well, including educating the public to reduce the stigma associated with substance use disorders and training and educating clinicians about substance use disorders, opioid prescribing guidelines and pain management best practices, Sellars said.

Meanwhile, the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services plans to use the $7.6 million in new money that it will receive to continue funding a variety of programs to prevent, treat and provide recovery services related to opioid abuse disorder, said agency spokesman Jeffrey Dismukes.

The state mental health department will receive its funding through a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The grant is part of the State Opioid Response grant program through which the state has previously received more than $11.6 million, Dismukes said.

Opioid abuse continues to be a huge problem in Oklahoma, health officials said.



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