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Press Release

Office of Justice Programs Announces Grant Awards of More Than $8.8 Million to Help Reduce Prescription Drug Abuse, Misuse, Diversion

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

The Office of Justice Programs’ Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) today announced funding of more than $8.8 million in 20 separate awards to 19 state health and pharmacy boards and departments to better track and share prescription drug information to help reduce drug abuse, misuse, and diversion.

The awards, funded under the BJA’s Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program FY 2016 Competitive Grant Program, enable awardees to create, implement, and enhance Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs). PDMPs are state-run databases that collect data about controlled substance prescriptions dispensed by pharmacies and doctors. Authorized users, including prescribers and dispensers, are permitted to monitor dispensing activity through these programs. Checking a PDMP before prescribing helps to improve appropriate pain management care, prevent diversion of drugs, and identify patients who may have an opioid use disorder and need treatment.  In certain states, law enforcement officers may also obtain authorization to access PDMP data. Evidence suggests that PDMPs improve patient care while preventing abuse and overdose deaths. 

“Misuse of prescription drugs is a national problem, that requires the cooperative efforts of all medical, health, pharmaceutical, law enforcement agencies, and other partners to solve,” said Assistant Attorney General Karol V. Mason of the Office of Justice Programs. “These awards provide a foundation of resources for enabling data collection, sharing, and collaboration to help prevent prescription medication misuse and abuse.” 

These awards support collaboration between law enforcement, prosecutors, public health, treatment professionals, pharmacies, and the medical community to promote strategies that inform effective policies, support investigations, and offer treatment intervention and prevention efforts for at-risk individuals and communities. The awards are administered by BJA in coordination with a myriad of partners, including the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Office of Diversion Control, the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration.

Today’s awardees include:

  • Alabama Dept. of Public Health
  • Arkansas Dept. of Health
  • Arizona State Board of Pharmacy
  • Connecticut Dept. of Consumer Protection
  • Dept. of Public Health Social Services
  • Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Human Services
  • Illinois Dept. of Human Services
  • City of Lowell, Massachusetts
  • Maryland Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene
  • State of Michigan Dept. of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
  • Minnesota Board of Pharmacy
  • Mississippi Board of Pharmacy
  • Multnomah County Health Dept., Oregon
  • Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services
  • Ohio Board of Pharmacy
  • South Dakota Dept. of Health
  • Tennessee Dept. of Health
  • University of Florida
  • Utah Dept. of Health

Today’s awards were announced as part of Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week, which President Obama established by proclamation Sept. 16. Departments across the federal government are continuing to use all available tools to combat this epidemic by expanding evidence-based prevention and treatment programs, increasing access to the overdose-reversal medicine naloxone, improving opioid prescribing practices, and supporting targeted enforcement activities.

For additional information about this grant program, visit

Updated December 8, 2017

Prescription Drugs