Jun 21 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp announced $3,876,470 in federal funding over the next five years to the University of North Dakota (UND) to train and educate a workforce to better treat those who suffer from substance abuse.
“All across North Dakota I hear about the devastating impacts of opioid abuse – hurting our towns and ripping families apart. Over the past year, I’ve held a series of six meetings across our state to hear about these challenges and to work with communities to try to find solutions,” said Heitkamp. “Treating substance abuse and the underlying mental health issue are major challenges as we work to keep families safe, but we must do more. These new federal funds will help UND’s Addiction Technology Transfer Center train and educate a workforce to better combat substance abuse and get help to the folks who suffer from addiction.”
These federal funds are made available through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. This is the second federal funding announcement for UND’s Addiction Technology Transfer Center that will collaborate with the National Coordinating Office and nine other regional centers to make sure information on treating substance abuse gets to those who are in need.
Heitkamp recently hosted a meeting in Dickinson to discuss challenges the community faces dealing with a major increase in opioid addiction and abuse. This discussion was the sixth in a series of listening sessions Heitkamp has been hosting across the state that also included meetings in Minot, Bismarck, Grand Forks, Fargo, and Jamestown.
In March, Heitkamp reintroduced her Budgeting for Opioid Addiction Treatment Act (LifeBOAT Act) that would help fund efforts to provide and expand access to substance abuse treatment by establishing a one cent stewardship fee on each milligram of active opioid ingredients in a prescription bill. Additionally, Heitkamp helped pass a bipartisan bill last year that would assist in combating the nation’s opioid epidemic by using existing resources to provide needed tools for law enforcement and first responders, such as anti-overdose drugs, as well as support state prescription drug monitoring programs.