Health Department Awarded $4M to Combat Opioid Crisis

September 17, 2019, 1:28 PM HST · Updated September 17, 1:28 PM
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The Hawai’i Department of Health has received a little over $4 million in federal funds to prevent an opioid crisis in the state.

“This funding will help expand access, reduce stigma, and improve the overall system of care for substance abuse disorders in Hawai‘i,” DOH representative Edward Mersereau said in a press release.

Some of the funding will be allotted to the Hawai‘i Opioid Initiative, a collaborative statewide project under the DOH.

The initiative coordinates efforts between government agencies and community groups to keep Hawai’i “unscathed” from the national opioid crisis.

Some of the efforts include improving healthcare strategies, data collection, community-based programs, and consumer education, as well as supporting law enforcement.

“Hawai‘i’s initiative aligns with HHS’ five-point strategy for combating the national opioid crisis,” US Department of Health and Human Services regional director Ed Heidig said in the release.

“More Americans are getting treatment for addiction and we are dealing with addiction in new and innovative, evidence-based ways.”

According to Heidig, the nation is seeing its first drop in overdose deaths in more than two decades with the help of these preventative measures.

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