News Releases

As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Murray worked to secure $3.78 billion dollars to fight opioid epidemic—an increase of $2.7 billion from 2017

Latest investments enhance State grants, support surveillance and prevention efforts, and improve mental health care for underserved and rural communities 

Senator Murray’s bipartisan Opioid Crisis Response Act also nearing Senate vote

Senator Murray: “This is an ongoing crisis, meaning our investments to fight it must also be ongoing, so I’m going to keep working to get more common sense steps over the finish line for our communities.”

(Washington, D.C.)  – Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS), released the following statement regarding the investments to fight the opioid crisis that were included the final LHHS appropriations bill that cleared the House-Senate conference committee yesterday and is now headed to final passage and is expected to be signed into law.

“It is clear that families and communities on the frontlines of the opioid crisis need more resources to help address its root causes and ripple effects, which is why I’m glad we were able to make new bipartisan investments to help fight opioid addiction and support those facing the tragedy of this epidemic. This is an ongoing crisis, meaning our investments to fight it must also be ongoing, so I’m going to keep working to get more common sense steps over the finish line for our communities.”

The conference agreement provides $3.78 billion for programs addressing the opioid crisis and mental health needs—an increase of $2.7 billion over 2017.  This includes: $1.9 billion in enhanced State grants to address the opioid epidemic and mental health; $350 million to support opioid overdose surveillance and prevention efforts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and through State Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs; $495 million to improve access to opioid and substance use disorder treatment in rural and underserved areas; and $100 million to address the needs of children who are affected by parental substance use.

As the top Democrat on the Senate health committee, Senator Murray has worked at length to help find federal solutions to the growing opioid epidemic in Washington state and nationwide, including successfully strengthening federal investments in efforts to curb opioid misuse, and travelling extensively throughout the state over the past several years—from Everett to Seattle to Longview, and more—to meet with patients, families, health providers, medical professionals, law enforcement officials, community leaders, and others to better understand the impact of the opioid epidemic on families and communities. In Washington D.C., Senator Murray has shared these stories with her Senate colleagues as she has worked for policies that helped.