WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar Thursday announced the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded federal funds to combat opioid addiction in Minnesota. The $5,379,349 grant will support a comprehensive array of prevention, treatment, and recovery services. The funding is the first of two rounds provided for in the bipartisan 21st Century CURES Act, which was signed into law last year. The funding was called for in Klobuchar's bipartisan Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act.
"As I've traveled across Minnesota, I've heard time and again how opioid addiction is tearing apart communities and destroying lives," Klobuchar said in a news release. "That's why I'm proud that landmark legislation that I led with three other senators was passed to help combat this epidemic and make $1 billion in funding available. This grant will provide families across our state with the resources they need to prevent addiction and get access to life-saving treatment and recovery services."
As a former Hennepin County Attorney, Klobuchar has long led local and national efforts to curb drug abuse and help people overcome addiction. The Klobuchar-backed 21st Century CURES Act contains funding for opioid abuse treatment and prevention called for in Klobuchar's bipartisan Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, which was signed into law last year. Klobuchar was one of four senators, along with Senators Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., and former Senator Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., to lead the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act.
This bipartisan legislation encourages states and local communities to pursue a full array of proven strategies in the fight against opioid addiction. At the end of 2016, $1 billion was made available by Congress to fund the national effort.
Last month, Klobuchar and Senator Portman introduced legislation to require the use of prescription drug monitoring programs in all states that received certain federal funding and make their prescription drug monitoring programs data available to other states. Earlier this year, Klobuchar introduced with Portman and Senators Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., the bipartisan Synthetics Trafficking & Overdose Prevention Act to help close the loophole that allows foreign countries to take advantage of weaknesses in international security standards to break U.S. customs laws and regulations by shipping dangerous synthetic drugs like carfentanil through our borders.
Klobuchar also joined with Senator Joe Manchin, D-W.V., and other senators to introduce the Budgeting for Opioid Addiction Treatment Act, which would establish a reliable funding stream to provide and expand access to substance abuse treatment. She and a bipartisan group of senators also introduced the Synthetic and Labeling of Toxic Substances Act to make it easier to prosecute the sale of "analogue" drugs, which are synthetic substances that are substantially similar to illegal drugs.
In September 2014, the Drug Enforcement Administration implemented Klobuchar's bipartisan Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act. Under the legislation, consumers are provided with more safe and responsible ways to dispose of unused prescription medications and controlled substances.