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September 5, 2019

Rep. Pressley and Massachusetts Delegation Announce Federal Grants to Combat Opioid Crisis

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), along with Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Edward J. Markey (D-MA), and Representatives Richard E. Neal (MA-01), James P. McGovern (MA-02), Stephen F. Lynch (MA-08), William Keating (MA-09), Joseph P. Kennedy III (MA-04), Katherine Clark (MA-05), Seth Moulton (MA-06), and Lori Trahan (MA-03) announced that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts was awarded over $43 million in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to the combat the opioid crisis.

Massachusetts received a second-round State Opioid Response grant of $35,879,685 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to support prevention, treatment, and recovery services. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) was also awarded $7,138,651 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to support near real-time data collection on the opioid crisis.

“Families and communities across the Massachusetts 7th have been devastated by the opioid crisis,” said Congresswoman Pressley. “We cannot continue to dehumanize our neighbors suffering from addiction or respond with criminalization. These grants will allow us to prioritize prevention & treatment over incarceration — a meaningful step towards addressing this deadly epidemic.”

“The opioid crisis is a deadly epidemic that demands an all-hands-on-deck response,” said Senator Warren. “While these much-needed federal dollars certainly will help Massachusetts in the fight against this public health crisis, we must do more to provide communities with the resources they need to address it. Congress should immediately take up the CARE Act, my bill with Congressman Cummings, which would provide $100 billion to states and communities to confront this crisis head-on. Individuals and families struggling with addiction need our support, and they should not wait another moment for Congress to act.”

“This grant to bolster Massachusetts’ response to the deadly opioid epidemic will be indispensable to our ongoing efforts to expand access to life-saving treatments, improve addiction prevention efforts, and heal communities and families throughout the Commonwealth,” said Senator Markey. “However, these dollars are only as good as the infrastructure in place to help connect individuals to the care and treatment they need. To meaningfully solve this crisis, we must continue to strengthen access to quality and comprehensive treatments and keep working to ensure health care for all Americans.”

“This is tremendous news for the state of Massachusetts,” said Congressman Neal. “As Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, I have been diligent in my commitment to see what resources the committee has jurisdiction over to assist those who struggle with opioid abuse. We all know someone who suffers from this epidemic. This disease touches all people from all walks of life. We must continue to work together in this federal-state partnership to combat this critical public health and safety issue.”

“Every city and town in Massachusetts has been touched by the opioid crisis, and we need a response that matches the scale and urgency of this deadly epidemic,” said Congressman McGovern. “There are dozens of programs throughout the Commonwealth that are on the front lines of fighting substance use disorder. These grants will help support and expand these lifesaving programs, but the truth is that we need to be doing much, much more. This is a critical moment. We must continue to push for more funding and increased awareness so that every single person in America who wants treatment is able to get it.”

“These federal resources will help us to continue to address this epidemic, which has had a strong impact on many communities in the Ninth District,” said Congressman Keating. “I have been working to combat the opioid crisis since my time as a District Attorney and am proud to continue this work with my colleagues in the delegation.  These federal grants, coupled with our state’s strong, existing services to combat the opioid epidemic, will save lives by expanding opportunities for recovery for those struggling with this terrible disease.”

“Until every single person battling a substance use disorder has access to the treatment that they need, we will not bring an end to an epidemic that has touched the lives of every American family,” said Congressman Joe Kennedy III. “With this funding, we can continue to open doors to treatment for patients across our Commonwealth and build on the strengths of Medicaid and the ACA to provide affordable, accessible behavioral health care.”

“This grant will go a long way in supporting the Commonwealth’s efforts to prevent, treat and recover from the deadly opioid crisis,” said Congresswoman Clark. “Massachusetts families and communities continue to suffer at the hands of substance use disorder and these dollars will better arm us to combat the epidemic and ultimately, save lives.”

“It’s hard to talk about addiction, but it touches almost everybody in our country–whether we know someone who is wrestling with addiction, or we know someone who has lost a loved one to an overdose. I’m going to keep fighting for better mental health care, and more resources like these so we can confront this public health emergency,” said Congressman Moulton.

“There is not a community in Massachusetts or the United States that remains untouched by the opioid crisis,” said Congresswoman Trahan. “This public health emergency requires a significant and sustained federal response – not half measures or lip service. The $35,879,685 in State Opioid Response (SOR) grants that will be coming to Massachusetts will go a long way towards helping communities in need. But we can’t stop there, which is why I am proud to be an original cosponsor of the CARE Act, which will help steer millions of dollars directly to our hardest hit communities to make sure they have the resources and training necessary to conduct their addiction prevention, education, treatment, and recovery programs.”

In May, Congresswoman Pressley joined members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation, including Senators Warren and Markey and Representatives McGovern, Lynch, Keating, Kennedy, Clark, Moulton, and Trahan, in reintroducing the Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency (CARE) Act, the most ambitious legislation ever introduced in Congress to confront the opioid and substance use epidemic. The legislation would provide state and local governments with $100 billion in federal funding over ten years, including more than $800 million per year directly to tribal governments and organizations.

Under the CARE Act, Massachusetts would receive an estimated $120.1 million per year in formula funding to fight substance use disorder and the opioid epidemic, including an estimated $56.6 million per year allocated to the state and an estimated $63.5 million per year distributed among eligible counties. The Commonwealth, as well as any city or county in Massachusetts, also has the opportunity to apply for additional funding from $2.6 billion in competitive grant programs for states and local areas.


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