Merkley, Wyden Announce Nearly $23 Million to Address the Opioid Crisis

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that a total of $22,972,499 in Department of Health and Human Services grants to combat the opioid crisis is coming to the State of Oregon and Tribes.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, in 2021, Oregon overdose deaths increased 41%, compared to a 16% increase nationwide. In 2020 non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaska Native, non-Hispanic Black, male and people experiencing houselessness were among the highest risk for unintentional drug overdose death.

“I’ve heard heart-wrenching stories from Oregonians 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 immeasurable, but these funds will have a real impact on our continued fight to beat this epidemic. I won’t stop working to deliver resources, solutions, and support to address the needs of those suffering and their communities.”

“Every corner of Oregon has been slammed by the opioid crisis that’s ripping apart lives, with the human devastation rippling out as well to victims’ loved ones, employers and communities,” Wyden said. “This scourge demands a comprehensive response and this federal investment in prevention, treatment and more will help. But there’s obviously much more to be done, and I’ll keep battling to provide all the resources needed to attack this crisis with the urgency it requires.”

Recipients and awards can be found below:

  • $498,228 to the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon
  • $15,474,271 to Oregon Health Authority Directors Office of Financial Services
  • $6,750,000 to Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board
  • $250,000 to the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians

These awards are intended to address the opioid overdose crisis by providing resources to states, territories, and Tribes for increasing access to FDA-approved medications for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD), and for supporting the continuum of prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery support services for opioid use disorder (OUD) and other concurrent substance use disorders.

“Every day opioid addiction takes lives and destroys families,” said Cheryle A. Kennedy, Chairwoman for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. “With this funding from Health and Human Services we will be able to provide critical services through our clinic, Great Circle Recovery, and support patients on their path through recovery.”

“Our tribe is so thankful for the funds we will receive,” said Delores Piglsey, Chair of The Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians. “The opioid crisis has affected our community. The funds will be used for wellness programs, mental health treatment, and every preventative measure that we have been unable to perform without the funding. Recovery efforts are severely needed in rural communities. We thank our Senator for his active participation in recognizing our unique needs.”