News Releases

Appropriations bill includes nearly $4 billion to respond to the opioid epidemic, over $1 billion for mental health care 

Murray: “Our ongoing work to end the opioid epidemic and support those across the country who are struggling with mental health issues has been made all the more urgent by this pandemic.” 

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee, released the following statement on the increased funding to fight the opioid epidemic and mental health crisis she fought to include in the end-of-year spending bill which passed the Senate today.

“The COVID-19 crisis has been incredibly hard on so many families, but especially people who were already fighting addiction or dealing with mental health issues. Our ongoing work to end the opioid epidemic and support those across the country who are struggling with mental health issues has been made all the more urgent by this pandemic. I have not, and will not, lose sight of the mental health crisis we are facing as a country. I’m glad we were able to increase funding for this important work, and will be continuing to push for further action as well.”

The Fiscal Year 2021 bill provides $3.95 billion in HHS to address opioid abuse, an increase of $84.6 million over fiscal year 2020 levels.  This funding includes: $1.5 billion to states to address the opioid epidemic; $91 million for medication assisted treatment; $476 million for opioid overdose surveillance and prevention at CDC; $80 million to address the needs of children affected by the opioid crisis; and $100 million to help affected rural communities. 

The bill also includes over $1 billion to improve mental health access, including $250 million for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics, a $50 million increase; $757.6 million for the mental health block grant, a $35 million increase for states to create crisis care programs; $8 million for infant and early childhood mental health; and $107 million—a $5 million increase—for Project AWARE, which will expand efforts to identify and help children and youth in need of mental health care. 

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