BIG SANDY- Senator Jon Tester announced that health care facilities across Montana will receive more than $3 million in funding to help combat the growing opioid epidemic. The funding is part of a nearly $400 million push towards fighting the epidemic nationwide.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is giving $167,000 to health centers in Butte, Libby, Kalispell, Hamilton, Harden, Cut Bank, Great Falls, Livingston, Shelby, Missoula and Billings. The funds will go towards expanding services for patients with substance use disorders by employing more counselors and health care providers, and offering integrated behavioral health services.
The Montana Health Research and Education Foundation will receive $1 million to introduce an opioid response program for rural communities. Montana State University will also be receiving $900,000 to improve community-based training for students studying to become behavioral and mental health paraprofessionals focused on opioid and substance use disorders.
“These grants will help in that effort by giving our communities more tools and better resources to deploy against substance misuse, especially in rural areas—helping create a healthier, safer Montana,” said Tester.
Tester has been pushing for more resources addressing the opioid crisis by introducing legislation to fight the misuse of drugs on college campuses and reauthorizing the State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grant, which helps states treat substance use disorders.