New Budget Law Includes $6B for Opioids, Mental Health

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The budget deal approved Friday by Congress to keep the federal government open for another six weeks would funnel $6 billion over two years to fight the opioid crisis with new grants, prevention programs and “law enforcement efforts” across the U.S., the Washington Post reports. States with the highest mortality rates would get the most federal dollars.

The new law’s language is very general, suggesting that the details will be worked out later by appropriations committees in both houses of Congress. Under the title opioids and mental health, the measure provides $3 billion each in fiscal years 2018 and 2019 for state grants, prevention programs and law enforcement “related to substance abuse and mental health programs.” The Trump administration has been criticized for talking about the drug overdose epidemic but not allocating more resources to deal with it. The new budget law should help fill at least some of the spending gap.

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