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Christie Administration Announces Funding to Combat Opioid Overdose Epidemic


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton, NJ – Governor Chris Christie today announced The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded the New Jersey Department of Health (DOH) a $727,688 competitive grant to enhance efforts to curb the opioid crisis through a series of initiatives and the New Jersey Department of Human Services (DHS) approximately $6.9 million to target prescription and opioid misuse.

“Today is International Overdose Awareness Day, a reminder that the disease of addiction is preventable through education and intervention,” said Governor Christie.  “These funding grants are another important step in combating opioid misuse and abuse in New Jersey while strengthening our ability to positively impact the opioid crisis in our state by saving lives.”

Funding for DOH  will enable the agency to enhance its data access and analysis; improve prevention planning, including implementing a statewide strategic plan; assess the impact of state-level policies on the opioid crisis; identify and engage communities most impacted by the effects of the opioid crisis; and maximize the New Jersey Prescription Monitoring Program’s public health surveillance potential.

The CDC’s Prescription Drug Overdose Prevention grant helps states combat ongoing prescription drug overdose challenges. The purpose is to provide state health departments with resources and support needed to advance interventions for preventing prescription drug overdoses.

Through 2019, CDC plans to give selected states annual awards between $750,000 and $1 million to advance prevention in four key areas: maximizing prescription drug monitoring programs; community, insurer or health systems interventions; policy evaluations and Rapid Response projects.

Through SAMHSA, DHS  will receive a Strategic Prevention Framework for Prescription Drugs five-year grant award for approximately $1.9 million to target prescription drug misuse. The program is designed to raise awareness about the dangers of sharing medications and educate pharmaceutical and medical communities on the risks of overprescribing to young adults.

This grant also will fund prescription drug abuse prevention activities and education to schools, communities, parents, prescribers, and their patients. SAMHSA will track reductions in opioid overdoses and the incorporation of Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) data into needs assessments and strategic plans as indicators of the program’s success. The cooperative agreement between DHS and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) calls for up to 25 awards of about $371,616 annually.

The reports developed from the DHS’ Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) data analysis will be shared with other state agencies and with DMHAS’ Regional Prevention Coalitions to inform planning in local communities.

In addition, DHS is receiving $5 million to target the reduction of the number of prescription drug/opioid overdose related deaths and adverse events among 18 year olds and older.  The grant will focus on training key community sectors on the prevention of prescription drug/opioid overdose related deaths and implementing prevention strategies, including the purchase and distribution of naloxone kits. A cooperative agreement between DHS and SAMHSA calls for up to 11 awards of $1million annually.

International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held annually on August 31 that aims to raise awareness of overdoses and reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends who have experienced death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdoses.

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