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Press Release

Mississippi Entities Receive Federal Grant Funding To Combat Opioid Crisis

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Mississippi
Over $1.3 Million Awarded to Mississippi Department of Health and Rankin County Board of Supervisors

Jackson, Miss. – On the first day of National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, the U.S. Department of Justice announced it is awarding almost $320 million to combat the opioid crisis in America. This unprecedented funding will directly help those most impacted by the deadliest drug crisis in American history, including crime victims, children, families, and first responders.

In Mississippi, two grant recipients were named:

• The Mississippi State Department of Health was awarded $1 million as part of the "Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Site-based Program" to help jurisdictions plan and implement programs aimed at reducing opioid abuse and mitigating its impact on crime victims, including training and technical assistance.

• The Rankin County Board of Supervisors was awarded $352,611 under the "Drug Treatments Courts Program - Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Guidelines" to provide service support delivery and programming enhancements aligned with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Guidelines.

"President Trump has made ending the opioid crisis a priority for this administration, and under his leadership, the Department of Justice has taken historic action," said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. "Today we are announcing our next steps: investing $320 million into all three parts of the President’s comprehensive plan to end the epidemic: prevention, treatment, and enforcement. We are attacking this crisis from every angle—and we will not let up until we bring it to an end."

"This incredible deployment of resources to fight the largest and deadliest drug epidemic of our time is a testament to this Administration’s mission to keep Americans safe. I commend the Mississippi Department of Health and Rankin County for seeking these federal funds in order to tackle this lethal scourge that affects us all. This money will go towards helping Mississippians break their addiction to opioids and assist our youth by giving them the treatment and services they need and deserve," said Mike Hurst, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi.

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. October marks two important anti-drug events: Red Ribbon Week and National Prescription Drug Takeback Day. Red Ribbon Week takes place every year between October 23-31 and encourages students, parents, schools, and communities to promote drug-free lifestyles. The Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on October 27 aims to provide an opportunity for Americans to prevent overdose deaths and drug addictions before they start. DOJ 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 Attorney General has been resolute in the fight against the drug crisis in America. The Department assigned more than 300 federal prosecutors to U.S. Attorneys’ offices and hired more than 400 DEA task force officers, announced the formation of Operation Synthetic Opioid Surge, a new program to reduce the supply of deadly synthetic opioids in high impact areas, and created a new data analytics program called the Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit to assist 12 prosecutors sent to drug "hot spot districts." In addition, the Department charged more than 3,000 defendants with trafficking in heroin, fentanyl, or prescription drugs in FY 2017, announced the first-ever indictments of Chinese nationals for fentanyl trafficking, and scheduled variants of fentanyl to prevent illicit drug labs from circumventing the law. In addition, DOJ executed the largest ever health care fraud enforcement action charging more than 600 defendants and proposed rules consistent with President Trump's "Safe Prescribing Plan," requiring a reduction of ten percent in 2019 in manufacturing quotas. The Department dismantled AlphaBay, the largest criminal marketplace on the Internet and has already generated prosecutions in the fight against online drug trafficking through the Joint Criminal Opioid Darknet Enforcement Team (J-CODE).

OJP provides federal leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP has six bureaus and offices: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime; and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking. More information about OJP and its components can be found at:

Updated October 2, 2018