U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today announced the Trump Administration would be committing $4,030,370 towards combatting the opioid epidemic in Montana.
“For far too long, families in Montana and across this nation have been torn apart by the drug epidemic, including opioids and meth,” Daines said. “I’m grateful for President Trump’s leadership and commitment to combating the devastating drug epidemic by expanding access to treatment, prevention, and recovery.”
These grants were provided through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to continue the Trump administration’s efforts to combat the opioid crisis by expanding access to treatment and supporting near real-time data on the drug overdose crisis.
For more information on the grant, click HERE.
Daines Work to Combat Montana’s Drug Epidemic:
Last October, the Senate passed comprehensive opioids legislation which included Sen. Daines’ Mitigating METH Act, which expands the state targeted response to the opioid crisis grants to include Indian tribes as eligible recipients. The legislation also included the STOP Act which helps stop illegal drugs from coming in at the border or being shipped through the postal service.
In April, Daines held a roundtable discussion in Missoula with local law enforcement to hear from folks fighting Montana’s meth crisis.
Following the roundtable in Missoula, Daines sent a letter to Customs and Border Protection officials asking for specifics on meth seizures at the southern border.
In February, Daines visited Kalispell Regional Healthcare to learn about the hospital’s work with drug-addicted babies in their NICU.
In early February, Daines visited the Rimrock Foundation in Billings to see firsthand the growing issue of meth abuse in Montana.
Last year, Daines’ bill, the Child Protection and Family Support Act, to allow moms to stay together with their babies while undergoing meth abuse treatment, was signed into law.
According to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (MT DPHHS), drug overdose deaths are on the rise nationally and are the third leading cause of injury-related death in Montana, accounting for 1,334 deaths between 2003 and 2014. The rate of opioid overdose death in Montana was just below the national average of 5.5 per 100,000 in 2013-2014, at 5.4 deaths per 100,000.
The MT DPHHS also cited that since 2000, the rate of prescription drug overdose deaths has doubled, with more than 700 deaths from prescription opioid overdose alone. For every 100 Montanans, there are 83 painkiller prescriptions written annually in the state. In 2015, over 15% of high schoolers in Montana reported having taken a prescription medication without a prescription in their lifetime.