Merkley, Wyden Announce Nearly $20 Million to Oregon and Tribes to Combat Opioid Crisis

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced nearly $20 million in funding to combat the opioid crisis. This money will go to the Oregon State Government, the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Indians, Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board and the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians.

“I have heard heart-wrenching stories from Oregonians and members of tribes who have lost loved ones after a prescription for an injury or treatment turned into an addiction,” said Merkley. “The impact of this crisis across communities is incalculable. These funds will have a real impact on our fight to beat this epidemic. While this funding is a step in the right direction, I will continue to fight to hold the makers of these opioids accountable and to increase the capacity of our federal government to address the needs of those suffering.”

“No community has been left untouched by the pain and struggles of the opioid crisis, and sadly, most of us know someone who has felt its cruel impacts directly,” Wyden said. “This public health crisis isn’t going away unless we tackle it head on. The more we invest in prevention, treatment and recovery, the more lives we will save, and we can’t and won’t stop here.”

These funds are distributed through two U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) programs. These programs, State Opioid Response (SOR) and Tribal Opioid Response (TOR), are each in the first year of what will ultimately be a two-year program. These two programs are expected to disburse almost $3 billion nationwide to provide community-level resources for prevention, treatment and recovery support services in both states and tribes.

States are provided funds to develop tailored approaches to prevention, treatment, and recovery from opioid use disorders and/or stimulant use disorders through the SOR program. Along with access to lifesaving medication to treat opioid use disorder, the program also provides access to psychosocial services and community supports. The TOR program enables the development of these same comprehensive approaches among tribal communities.