Sept. 6 (UPI) -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Tuesday it is awarding more than $28.6 million in funding to 44 states and Washington, D.C., to fight the opioid epidemic.
Under the Prescription Drug Overdose: Prevention for States, or PfS, program, $19.3 million in funding will go to 27 states as program expansion supplemental awards and as part of the Data-Driven Prevention Initiative, or DDPI, $4.6 million will go to 12 states and Washington, D.C. for program expansion supplemental awards.
"One piece of HHS's five-point strategy for combating the opioid crisis is improving our understanding of the epidemic through better public health data," said Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Tom Price, said in a press release.
"The expansion of these CDC programs, made possible by legislation President Trump signed earlier this year, is an important piece of our commitment to helping states combat the scourge of opioid addiction and overdose."
The additional funding for opioids from the 2017 Omnibus Appropriations bill expands funding to states under the CDC's Overdose Prevention in States, or OPIS, program, which includes PfS, DDPI and the Enhanced State Opioid Overdose Surveillance, or ESOOS.
Funds will be used by states to increase prevention activities including increasing the use of prescription drug monitoring programs and improving clinical feedback. ESOOS funding of $4.7 million will be given to 32 states and the District of Columbia to track and prevent opioid-involved overdoses.
PfS supplemental funding will go to Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
DDPI supplemental funding was awarded to Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, South Dakota, and Washington, D.C.
"Drug overdoses have dramatically increased over the last two decades in America," CDC Director Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald said. "This additional CDC funding to states, who are on the frontlines of the opioid overdose epidemic, is critical to help them scale up prevention efforts to fight this crisis and save lives."