From Sen. Rob Portman

MANSFIELD – U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) issued the following statement after the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it had awarded $485 million in grants to help states fight the heroin and prescription drug epidemic, including $26 million for the state of Ohio:

“This is good news for Ohio, and will help our efforts to combat the heroin and prescription drug epidemic gripping our state. My visits to treatment and recovery facilities in Eaton and Massillon this week once again highlight the glaring need for additional resources to combat this epidemic.

"I was proud to work on the CURES legislation and urge that opioid funding be included in the bill, and this legislation is now starting to benefit our state. By working together, we can turn the tide of addiction in Ohio and I will continue to do everything I can to help make that happen.”

• The funding originates from the “21st Century CURES” initiative, legislation enacted in December 2016 that provided $1 billion over two years to fight the heroin and prescription drug epidemic.

Portman had urged that opioid funding be included in the CURES package, and the funding awarded to states can be used for improving prescription drug monitoring programs, prevention, training for health care workers, and improving access to treatment for individuals struggling with a substance use disorder. This funding would complement the increases in opioid spending Portman has secured through his Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act (CARA) legislation.

Increasing funding is just one aspect of Portman’s efforts to combat this epidemic. This year he is also pushing legislation called the STOP Act, which would help stop dangerous synthetic drugs like fentanyl from being shipped into the U.S. and the Prescription Drug Monitoring Act, which will help stop overprescribing. He has visited several treatment and recovery facilities this week, including in Eaton and Massillon.