Western Oklahoma receives millions to fight opioid crisis

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The U.S. Department of Justice will spread $4.5 million across the Western District of Oklahoma to fight the opioid crisis.

The Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) announced Friday that the $4.5 million will go to western Oklahoma government agencies to address opioid public safety issues, according to a Justice Department news release.

The funds are part of $333 million distributed across the nation to help communities impacted by the opioid crisis.

Katharine T. Sullivan, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for OJP, announced the initiative to fight opioid addiction during a visit with local, state and federal officials in West Virginia, one of the states hardest hit by the epidemic.

“The opioid crisis has destroyed far too many lives and left too many Americans feeling helpless and hopeless,” said PDAAG Sullivan. “This epidemic—the most deadly in our nation’s history—is introducing new dangers and loading public health responsibilities onto the public safety duties of our law enforcement officers. The Department of Justice is here to support them during this unprecedented and extremely challenging time.”

More than 130 people die from opioid-related overdoses every day. In light of this statistic, the Department of Justice is prioritizing the fight against addiction to opioids – including heroin and fentanyl, according to the news release.

“The Trump Administration is providing critical funding for a wide range of activities—from preventive services and comprehensive treatment to recovery assistance, forensic science services, and research—to help save lives and break the cycle of addiction and crime,” the news release states.

Grants will aid law enforcement officers, emergency responders and treatment professionals in coordinating their response to overdoses, as well as provide services for children and youth affected by the crisis, and support the nationwide network of drug and treatment courts.

Awarded funds will also target prescription drug abuse, expand the capacity of forensic labs and support opioid-related research.

“I am pleased that the Department can provide critically needed financial support for Oklahoma’s continuing fight against opioids,” said Timothy J. Downing, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma. “To win this battle, we will need all our tools and partners, including law enforcement and social services supporting prevention and treatment. These funds will go a long way to move Oklahoma along the road of reducing the suffering illegal opioids have caused.”

State agencies and other entities in the Western District of Oklahoma received the following awards:

  • $2,000,000 to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs as part of the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Site-Based Program, funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (“BJA”)
  • $249,543 to the Oklahoma City-County Health Department as part of BJA’s Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program
  • $749,985 to the Comanche Nation under a program funded by OJP entitled Enhancing Community Responses to the Opioid Crisis: Serving Our Youngest Crime Victims
  • $882,900 to the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services under BJA’s Adult Drug Court and Veterans Treatment Court Discretionary Grant Program
  • $646,951 to the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services as part of the Family Drug Court Program, funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
  • $250,000 to the Oklahoma District Attorneys’ Council as part of the Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grant Program, funded by the Office of Justice Programs

Click here for information about the programs and awards announced Friday. Visit the OJP Awards Data webpage for more information about OJP awards.

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