Armstrong, Trone Bill to Provide Funding to States to Fight Opioid Epidemic Overwhelmingly Passes House

October 20, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) released the following statement after his bill with Congressman David Trone (D-MD), the State Opioid Response Grant Authorization Act of 2021 (H.R. 2379), overwhelmingly passed the U.S. House of Representatives, 380-46.

This legislation authorizes $10.5 billion over six years in flexible funding for State Opioid Response (SOR) Grants and Tribal Opioid Response (TOR) Grants to fight the opioid epidemic on the front lines. Additionally, the bill gives states and tribal authorities more certainty regarding this funding by providing congressional authorization for the next six years.

“The epidemics of opioid addiction and substance abuse continue to ravage families and communities across the country,” said Congressman Armstrong. “I am happy to see the House pass our bipartisan bill to provide stable and certain funding for our state, local, and tribal governments to combat this crisis.”

Full text of the legislation can be found here.

Background

First implemented in P.L. 115-141 (the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018), SOR and TOR grants are awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) according to a formula and conditions set forth in that legislation. They are designed to supplement existing activities and support a comprehensive response to the opioid epidemic.

Per SAMHSA, “The program aims to address the opioid crisis by increasing access to medication-assisted treatment using the three FDA-approved medications for the treatment of opioid use disorder, reducing unmet treatment need, and reducing opioid overdose related deaths through the provision of prevention, treatment and recovery activities for opioid use disorder (OUD) (including prescription opioids, heroin and illicit fentanyl and fentanyl analogs).” These grants are awarded to states and territories via formula and the program includes a 15% set-aside for the ten states with the highest mortality rate related to drug overdose deaths.

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