DOJ awards over $300 million to battle WV opioid and stimulant crisis

Published: Dec. 28, 2021 at 10:46 AM EST
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WASHINGTON (WHSV) - The Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) announced grant awards Tuesday totaling more than $300 million to help combat America’s substance use crisis, which has reportedly worsened during the coronavirus pandemic.

United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II. announced in a press release that more than $1.8 million was awarded in the Northern District of West Virginia.

“Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the nation is experiencing a precipitous rise in opioid and stimulant misuse and overdoses,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “The Justice Department is committed to supporting programs aimed at addressing the substance use crisis that is devastating communities across the nation.”

The most recent provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that, “there were an estimated 100,306 drug overdose deaths in the United States during the 12-month period ending in April 2021, an increase of 28.5% from the 78,056 deaths during the same period the year before.”

“The substance use crisis in American society has been a persistent and deadly problem for decades, and illicitly manufactured fentanyl and synthetic opioids have tightened the grip drugs have on our society,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Amy L. Solomon for OJP.

“The Biden-Harris Administration is working diligently to address these problems by committing unprecedented levels of funding toward research, substance use treatment and mental health services, along with investments in enforcement, response and evidence-based treatment.”

OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) are distributing millions of dollars in grant awards to address the substance use crisis throughout the nation.

In addition to these grants, OJP is awarding $34 million to help communities respond to public safety and public health emergencies, including crises that result from substance use disorders.

Funding will go toward programs such as Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant and Substance Abuse Site-Based Program, Adult Drug and Veteran Treatment Court Program and Mentoring for Youth Affected by the Opioid Crisis and Drug Addiction.

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