Government funding bill includes money for opioid treatment

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) – The omnibus appropriations bill signed by President Biden to fund the government through September includes increased funding to treat and prevent cases of opioid abuse.

The bill includes a 9% increase in the Department of Health and Human Services to address opioid abuse. Medically assisted treatment programs will receive an 11% increase.

Additional programs include grants for organizations to institute pilot treatment and prevention programs, state-level funding, and $135 million specifically for rural communities.

Senator Tammy Baldwin serves on the Appropriations Health Subcommittee and helped shape the funding measures.

“You’ll hear about a number of overdoses, not necessarily deaths, but overdoses that happen in a community at the same time, or all in the same week, and you’ll know that the stuff got in, and that helps communities respond in a more communal way,” Baldwin said.

Senator Baldwin says isolation and financial hardship due to the pandemic are largely to blame for the rise in opioid abuse.

The appropriation bill provides additional funds to increase programs also aimed at addressing mental health issues, including a national 9-8-8 suicide prevention hotline to be rolled out in July.

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