The Department of Justice today announced awards of more than $333 million to help communities affected by the opioid crisis. The funds support families, children and crime victims dealing with the impact of substance abuse, along with first responders whose actions can often mean the difference between life and death for those who have overdosed.
“The opioid epidemic is the deadliest drug crisis this country has ever faced,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “The Department of Justice is committed to using all means available to bring drug traffickers to justice, disrupt the supply chain, support our law enforcement officers, and help the victims.”
“The opioid crisis has destroyed far too many lives and left too many Americans feeling helpless and hopeless,” said Office of Justice Programs Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan. “This epidemic — the most deadly in our nation’s history — is introducing new dangers and loading public health responsibilities onto the public safety duties of our law enforcement officers. OJP is here to support them through this unprecedented and extremely challenging time.”
With more than 130 people dying from opioid-related drug overdoses per day, the Department of Justice has made fighting addiction to opioids – including heroin and fentanyl – a national priority. The Trump Administration is providing critical funding for a wide range of activities – from preventive services and comprehensive treatment to recovery assistance, forensic science services and research – to help save lives and break the cycle of addiction and crime.
Funding was awarded under the following programs.
- The Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Programs ($163 million) will help jurisdictions plan and implement programs aimed at reducing opioid abuse and mitigating its impact on crime victims and will provide training and technical assistance.
- The Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program ($23.8 million) will address the treatment needs of people using opioids.
- The Enhancing Community Responses to the Opioid Crisis: Serving Our Youngest Crime Victims ($15.8 million) program will help service providers ensure children and youth are supported as they heal from the impact of crime and substance abuse.
- The Opioid Affected Youth Initiative ($7.9 million) will develop effective programs for children, youth and their families who have been affected by the opioid crisis and drug addiction.
- The Drug Courts Program ($83.5 million) will provide financial and technical assistance to states and federally recognized tribes to develop and implement drug courts to help adults, youth and veterans suffering from substance abuse issues.
- The Child Abuse Training for Judicial Personnel program ($1 million) will provide specialized training for juvenile and family court judges on serving families affected by opioids.
- The Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiative ($15 million) will support mentoring programs that address the issues experienced by youth affected by opioids.
- The Research and Evaluation on Drugs and Crime Program ($6 million) will support research on criminal investigation, prosecution, drug intelligence and community surveillance to reduce violent and other crimes related to fentanyl and its analogues.
- The Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grant Program ($17 million) is being made available to address the impact of the opioid crisis on forensic laboratory operations.
The more than $333 million in awards will be distributed to jurisdictions throughout the U.S. in order to maximize the effectiveness of the funding. Information about the programs and awards announced today is available here. For more information about OJP awards, visit the OJP Awards Data webpage.
In addition to providing unprecedented funding to combat the opioid crisis, the Trump Administration also created the Stop Opioid Abuse and Reduce Drug Supply and Demand Initiative, which prevents over-prescription, reduces the demand for drugs through education and awareness and cuts off the flow of illicit drugs across our borders. President Trump also signed the bipartisan Substance Use – Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act, or the SUPPORT Act, the largest legislative effort ever to address a single drug crisis in our nation’s history. This law expands access to evidence-based treatment, protects communities from drugs, invests more in sustained recovery, brings those in treatment and recovery back into the workforce and raises awareness of the dangers of illicitly imported synthetic opioids.
The Office of Justice Programs, directed by Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan, provides federal leadership, grants, training and technical assistance, and other resources to improve the nation’s capacity to prevent and reduce crime, assist victims and enhance the rule of law by strengthening the criminal and juvenile justice systems. More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov.
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Author: December 13, 2019