On the first day of National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, the U.S. Department of Justice announced it is awarding almost $320 million to combat the opioid crisis in America. This unprecedented funding will directly help those most impacted by the deadliest drug crisis in American history, including crime victims, children, families, and first responders.
In Mississippi, two grant recipients were named:
- The Mississippi State Department of Health was awarded $1 million as part of the “Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Site-based Program” to help jurisdictions plan and implement programs aimed at reducing opioid abuse and mitigating its impact on crime victims, including training and technical assistance.
- The Rankin County Board of Supervisors was awarded $352,611 under the “Drug Treatments Courts Program – Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Guidelines” to provide service support delivery and programming enhancements aligned with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Guidelines.Attorney General Jeff Sessions said president Trump has made ending the opioid crisis a priority for this administration, and under his leadership, the Department of Justice has taken historic action.
“Today we are announcing our next steps: investing $320 million into all three parts of the President’s comprehensive plan to end the epidemic: prevention, treatment, and enforcement,” said Sessions. “We are attacking this crisis from every angle—and we will not let up until we bring it to an end.”
Mike Hurst, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi, said this incredible deployment of resources to fight the largest and deadliest drug epidemic of our time is a testament to this Administration’s mission to keep Americans safe.
“I commend the Mississippi Department of Health and Rankin County for seeking these federal funds in order to tackle this lethal scourge that affects us all,” said Hurst. “This money will go towards helping Mississippians break their addiction to opioids and assist our youth by giving them the treatment and services they need and deserve.”
In 2017, more than 72,000 Americans lost their lives to drug overdoses, an increase from the 64,000 overdose deaths in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The majority of these deaths can be attributed to opioids, including illicit fentanyl and its analogues.