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Press Release

The National Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program Forum Presents Ways to Combat Addiction Crisis

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

The 2020 National Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program (COSSAP) Forum takes place today through Thursday at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia.

About 1,100 participants, ranging from criminal justice and behavioral health professionals to law enforcement officers, are attending to learn and to share promising and evidence-based strategies, case studies and projects that are turning the tide of America’s addiction epidemic.

“This crisis has claimed too many lives, torn apart too many families and stolen too many futures,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan, Office of Justice Programs. “But thanks to dedicated professionals across the country, we are beginning to see progress in this fight. Overdose deaths are down for the first time in 28 years, which is truly a cause for optimism. The work we are all doing together is making a difference.” 

“While the drop in deaths due to overdose is very encouraging, our nation still has a way to go in battling addiction,” said Acting BJA Director Michael Costigan. “I believe the COSSAP Forum will help through the sharing of evidence-based best practices.”

COSSAP, formerly known as the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Program, is funded by the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). Its purpose is to provide financial support to states, units of local government and tribal governments to develop and implement comprehensive efforts to support those impacted by the addiction epidemic. As the overall number of overdose fatalities declined last year, the Trump Administration and Congress are working together to address a surge in deaths related to drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamines and synthetic opioids like fentanyl.

In the last two fiscal years, BJA has awarded approximately $330 million through over 300 grants across almost all states and territories, and many tribes. This program is designed to allow each community to address its unique needs and respond to local or regional emerging threats. These historic investments are enabling law enforcement officers and treatment providers to jointly respond to overdose incidents. They are also helping to expand diversion programs, develop treatment and recovery strategies, and introduce technology-assisted treatment options.

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The Office of Justice Programs, directed by Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan, provides federal leadership, grants, training, technical assistance and other resources to improve the nation’s capacity to prevent and reduce crime, assist victims and enhance the rule of law by strengthening the criminal and juvenile justice systems. More information about OJP and its components can be found at

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of our agency at

Updated March 10, 2020

Press Release Number: 20-296