Attorney General Jeff Sessions today announced $35 million in funding to support law enforcement agencies in combating the illegal manufacturing and distribution of methamphetamine, heroin, and prescription opioids, and another $35 million to establish new programs to provide services to children victims of the opioid crisis.
The announcement was made at the Department’s National Opioid Summit, which coincides with Red Ribbon Week, a yearly October event encouraging students, parents, schools, and communities to promote drug-free lifestyles. Additionally, the upcoming Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on October 27 provides an opportunity for Americans to prevent overdose deaths and drug addictions before they start. Last year, the Department expanded on DEA's Drug Takeback Days and collected more than 2.7 million pounds of expired or unused prescription drugs since April 2017. The Department of Justice also recently announced a total of almost $320 million in unprecedented funding to combat the opioid crisis in America.
"Ending the opioid crisis is a top priority for this administration, and under the leadership of President Trump, the Department of Justice has taken historic action," Attorney General Sessions said. "We have already seen a nearly 20 percent decline in opioid prescription rates nationwide in 2017 and 2018, and we are cutting opioid production by an average of 10 percent for next year. Preliminary data also show that after years of large and sustained increases, overdose deaths may have finally started to decrease. Today, we are announcing millions in grants intended to help the most vulnerable victims of the opioid crisis: children. The Department is investing almost $35 million to assist youth victims of this crisis through enhancing community programs, supporting partnerships with victim service providers, and establishing mentoring programs. We are also announcing another $35 million for state law enforcement in states with high levels of heroin and methamphetamine abuse. These measures take us one step closer to bringing this crisis to an end.”
In 2017, more than 72,000 Americans lost their lives to drug overdoses, an increase from the 64,000 overdose deaths in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The majority of these deaths can be attributed to opioids, including illicit fentanyl and its analogues.
In FY 2018, the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) made awards to 41 sites and a technical assistance provider totaling $29.8 million. This is in addition to about $4.8 million in transferred funds to the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) to support partnership between victim service providers and first responders who encounter an overdose where children are present. The OVC program will support partnerships between victim service providers and first responders who encounter an overdose where children are present, through direct services, training and technical assistance, and efforts to build direct victim assistance services through community-based systems. The funding will provide funding for school-based programs, foster care and child welfare programs, counseling and assistance programs, child advocacy programs, court-appointed special advocates, mentoring and tutoring programs, civil legal services, and other programs.
The Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office is awarding more than $27.8 million in grant funding to 17 state law enforcement agency task forces through the Anti-Heroin Task Force Program (AHTF). AHTF provides two years of funding directly to law enforcement agencies in states with high per capita levels of primary treatment admissions for heroin and other opioids. This funding will support the location or investigation of illicit activities related to the distribution of heroin or the unlawful distribution of prescription opioids.
Through the COPS Anti-Methamphetamine Program (CAMP), the COPS Office will also award $7.2 million to nine state law enforcement agencies. These state agencies have demonstrated numerous seizures of precursor chemicals, finished methamphetamine, laboratories, and laboratory dump seizures. State agencies will be awarded two years of funding through CAMP to support the investigation of illicit activities related to the manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine.
The complete list of COPS Anti-Methamphetamine Program award recipients, including funding amounts, can be found here: https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/1104481/download
The complete list of Anti-Heroin Task Force Program award recipients, including funding amounts, can be found here: https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/1104476/download
The complete list of OVC awards can be found here: https://ojp.gov/newsroom/pressreleases/2018/ojp-news-10252018c.pdf