Oregon state and tribes to receive $23M in grants to combat opioid crisis

U.S. Sens. Jeff
Merkley and Ron Wyden on Tuesday announced nearly $23 million in grants to the
Oregon Health Authority and Tribes based in the state to combat the opioid

“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,” Merkley
said in a statement. “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.”

In the year ending
April 2022, 1,114 Oregonians died of a drug overdose, an 18% increase over the
previous year and double the number who died in car crashes. Oregon has the
highest rate of past-year drug use in the U.S. and has for years ranked at or
near the bottom of states for access to treatment.

As far as the
Department of Human Services grants the two senators announced, OHA will
receive $15.4 million, followed by the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health
Board, at $6.7 million. Other recipients are the Confederated Tribes of the
Grand Ronde, at $498,228, and the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, at

The funds are the
latest flowing into addiction and recovery services in Oregon. Attorney General
Ellen Rosenblum announced in
July that Oregon will receive $25 million this year from a nationwide
settlement with three large opioid distributors, with the potential for $45
million more from a separate settlement with Johnson & Johnson and $95
million from Purdue Pharma, the maker of Oxycontin.

there’s Measure 110 funds,
 which are finally being released to the
newly created Behavioral Health Resource Networks spread throughout the state.
All told, $302 million is available through the measure, which his funded by
marijuana taxes, in the current biennium for harm reduction, peer support,
housing, low-barrier substance use treatment and case management.

In addition, the
Oregon Legislature also approved $1.35 billion in this biennium to transform
the behavioral health system.