Vermont Will Receive $4 Million Grant To Continue Expansion Of State’s Opioid Response Strategies

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(WEDNESDAY, Sept. 4, 2019) — Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Wednesday announced that the Vermont Department of Health will soon receive its third State Opioid Response (SOR) grant of $4,020,896 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.  Vermont now has been awarded a total of $10,140,700 from SAMHSA through SOR grants since the inception of the grant program.

This funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides flexible funding to states to support prevention, treatment and recovery efforts to combat opioid addiction.  Leahy secured this funding in the Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act of 2019.  Confirmation of the grant comes one day after Leahy announced that Vermont also will receive a three-year, $9.5 million federal grant to prevent opioid-related overdoses.

Leahy said:  “I have made this a high priority on the Appropriations Committee because this continued funding is crucial to support the programs that Vermont has put in place with the initial state opioid response grant.  This funding has provided critical access to medication-assisted treatment in Emergency Departments, and it has brought employment consultants into our recovery centers.  It has been used to purchase disposal kiosks that get dangerous needles off our streets, and it has helped pregnant and parenting women in their recovery.”

Leahy noted the grant also supported the work of a state opioid coordinator, a new position that has worked to see that the funding and service delivery align to reach communities around the state.

“Vermont is on the cutting edge in developing a statewide response to the opioid crisis, and this grant will help to strengthen those efforts,” he said.

The funding is part of a $6 billion, two-year package that Leahy and other congressional Democrats secured in the 2018 bipartisan budget deal, to strengthen state responses to the opioid epidemic to include prevention, treatment, enforcement and support for those in recovery.

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