The funds supplement a $12 million base given to the same state programs in July.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) awarded $28.6 million to support states and districts in the fight against the opioid epidemic.
The funds — to be given to 44 states and the District of Columbia — is intended to aid prevention efforts and improve the tracking of opioid-related overdose incidences. It is a supplemental fund from the base $12 million the CDC provided to the same cause, after being announced in July.
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price, MD, said a piece of the agency's 5-point strategy for combating the crisis is "improving our understanding of the epidemic through better public health data."
“The expansion of these CDC programs, made possible by legislation President Trump signed earlier this year, is an important piece of our commitment to helping states combat the scourge of opioid addiction and overdose," Price said.
The funded states fall under the Overdose Prevention in States (OPIS) program, which includes 3 sub-division programs of resources, including Prescription Drug Overdose: Prevention for States (PfS), Data-Driven Prevention Initiative (DDPI), and Enhanced State Opioid Overdose Surveillance (ESOOS).
About 67% of the funds ($19.3 million) will go to 27 states in the PfS program via expansion supplemental awards. Another 16% ($4.6 million) will go to 12 states and Washington, DC in the DDPI program.
The final 17% will go to 32 states and Washington DC under the ESOS program — whose efforts entail improved public health data, and tracking of fatal and nonfatal overdoses. The funds will directly support state medical examiners and coroners, and services such as comprehensive toxicology testing.
Drug overdoses have "dramatically increased" in the US in the past 2 decades, CDC director Brenda Fitzgerald said. The supplemental funding responds to that rate.
"This additional CDC funding to states, who are on the frontlines of the opioid overdose epidemic, is critical to help them scale up prevention efforts to fight this crisis and save lives," Fitzgerald said.
A press release regarding the funding was made available.