U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded more than $5.7 million to 16 health centers in Illinois to expand access to substance abuse treatment, with a specific focus on opioid abuse in under served populations.
“Today’s announcement is a good step toward providing critical services to those battling the disease of addiction,” Durbin said. “We need to do more to meet the challenges caused by this epidemic. I will continue to push for federal funding for the programs that help our communities combat the abuse of prescription pain medication and heroin.”
The funding will allow health center in Illinois to:
- Increase the number of patients screened for substance abuse disorders and connected to treatment;
- Increase the number of patients with access to medication-assisted therapy for opioid use and other substance use disorder treatment; and
- Provide training and educational resources to help health professionals make informed prescribing decisions;
A list of awardees, locations, and funding amounts are listed below:
- Access Community Health Network, Chicago, $325,000
- Beloved Community Family Wellness Center, Chicago, $378,583
- Chestnut Health Systems, Inc., Bloomington, $379,167
- Community Health Improvement Center, Decatur, $406,250
- County of Lake, Waukegan, $325,000
- County of Macoupin, Carlinville, $406,250
- Crusaders Central Clinic Association, Rockford, $325,000
- Esperanza Health Centers, Chicago, $369,690
- Friend Family Health Center, Inc., Chicago, $352,083
- Heartland Community Health Clinic, Peoria, $325,000
- Heartland Health Outreach, Inc., Chicago, $325,000
- Heartland International Health Centers, Chicago, $352,083
- Lawndale Christian Health Center, Chicago, $406,250
- PCC Community Wellness Center, Oak Park, $406,250
- Primecare Community Health, Inc., Chicago, $325,000
- University of Illinois, Chicago, $325,000
Yesterday, the Senate approved the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. The measure authorizes grant funding to help states adopt a comprehensive approach to the opiate crisis that involves law enforcement, the criminal justice system, the public health system and the recovery support community. Prior to final passage of the legislation, the Senate defeated an amendment—supported by Durbin—that would have provided $600 million in supplemental appropriations to fund opioid abuse prevention and treatment programs.
Earlier this month, Durbin (D-IL) introduced the Medicaid Coverage for Addiction Recovery Expansion Act, which would expand access to treatment for vulnerable populations who currently are not receiving the addiction care they need while the heroin and opioid prescription drug abuse epidemic continues to grow. The bill would modify the Medicaid Institutions for Mental Disease Exclusion policy—a decades-old Medicaid policy that has had the unintended consequence of limiting treatment for our most at-risk populations—to allow more than 2,000 additional Illinois Medicaid recipients in Illinois to receive care annually.
According to HHS, approximately 4.5 million people in the United States were non-medical prescription pain reliever users in 2013, and an estimated 289,000 were current heroin users. HHS also estimates the number of unintentional overdose deaths from prescription pain medications has nearly quadrupled from 1999 to 2013, and deaths related to heroin increased 39 percent between 2012 and 2013.