OxyContin pills. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

Nevada to receive $16M in federal money to fight opioid crisis

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Nevada will soon receive about $16 million in federal funding to fight the opioid crisis that has caused thousands of deaths in the state.

The Biden administration announced today $1.5 billion in grant funds nationwide to address the opioid epidemic and help people in recovery, $16.7 million of which will go to the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, according to a fact sheet from the White House.

The funds, provided through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, will establish a long-term system of care. It will expand school-based prevention activities, overdose education and opioid antagonist distribution.

“I am thrilled Nevada will continue to receive these much-needed funds to support our efforts to combat the opioid crisis,” said Gov. Steve Sisolak in a statement to the Review-Journal. “We are working hard to develop a system of care that reaches all impacted Nevadans and this funding will support programs, expand treatment and increase prevention efforts.”

From 2010 to 2020, Nevada saw about 4,620 opioid-related overdose deaths, according to the Office of Analytics at the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services. In 2020, there were almost 6,000 opioid-related emergency department visits.

Over the two-year grant cycle, Nevada estimates 2,000 people will receive treatment and/or recovery support services through the funding, according to the fact sheet. Nevada has a goal of distributing 95,000 units of opioid antagonist medication into the community, according to the fact sheet from the White House.

With the funding, Nevada hopes to decrease youth substance use by implementing prevention programs in school districts.

It also wants to expand overdose prevention activities, increase fentanyl test strip distribution and increase the number of so-called harm reduction vending machines, according to the fact sheet.

The state also wants to increase access to treatment for opioid use disorder by increasing education opportunities for primary care, behavioral health and peer support providers and increasing the use of telehealth services.

The grants will also go toward expanding capacity for recovery housing and deploying media campaigns that provide education to patients on alternatives for pain management and supportive services.

The grants are part of the government’s State Opioid Response and Tribal Opioid Response grant programs that aim to increase access to treatment for substance use disorder.

The Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California will also receive $250,000 for its Washoe Tribe Healing Center. The grant will continue to fund its substance abuse treatment and harm-reduction programs. It will also allow the tribe to implement a youth prevention program that will bring prevention programs to local middle and high schools, according to the fact sheet. About 50 people per year will be served through the project.

“President Biden recognizes the devastating impact the overdose epidemic has had on this nation — reaching large cities, small towns, tribal lands, and every community in between. That’s why in his first State of the Union, President Biden made beating the opioid crisis a key pillar of his Unity Agenda, and outlined critical actions the Biden-Harris Administration is taking to address this crisis and support the tens of millions of Americans in recovery,” the fact sheet says.

Contact Jessica Hill at jehill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @jess_hillyeah on Twitter.

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