Obama Requests $1.1 Billion to Fight the Opioid Crisis

The money would go toward expanding access to treatment and improving prevention efforts.


Heroin photo via Shutterstock

President Obama proposed Tuesday to put an additional $1.1 billion toward ending the opioid epidemic.

The request is a huge increase over the amount previously budgeted for the opioid crisis, $400 million, with the bulk of the money earmarked to go toward better access to treatment. Specifically, the budget includes $920 million for medication-assisted treatment at the state level; $50 million to improve access to addiction treatment providers nationwide; and $30 million to evaluate how effective medication-assisted treatment programs really are.

Obama’s proposal also includes $500 million for improving overdose prevention efforts at the state level, including better access to the overdose-reversal drug nalaxone, and implementing further-reaching treatment and law enforcement tactics.

News of the plan comes only a day after Governor Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito announced that $2.5 million in federal grant money would be distributed to law enforcement agencies around the state that are committed to preventing opioid abuse.

Though the requested $1.1 billion is for the nation as a whole, a release from the White House did note that “states will receive funds based on the severity of the epidemic and on the strength of their strategy to respond to it”—meaning Massachusetts can likely expect to receive a fairly hefty chunk.