Virginia receives almost $10 million grant to fight opioid epidemic

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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ7) Virginia has received an almost $10 million federal grant to help fight the opioid crisis, Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Friday.

The one-year, $9.76 million grant comes from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The grant will be administered by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. The grant will support prevention, treatment and recovery efforts in 18 communities. The money will also be used to purchase medication, support medical staff to prescribe and oversee clinical treatment, and remove barriers to access.

DBHDS will allocate $5 million of grant funds to 18 locally run community service boards, including Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare in Roanoke. The funds will be used to increase access to medication-assisted treatment. The remaining $4.7 million of the grant will be used to support opioid prevention services in an additional 14 communities. The grant will also increase access to naloxone.

In 2016, more than 1,100 Virginians died from an opioid overdose. Virginia emergency departments reported more than 10,000 visits for opioid and heroin overdose treatment, and EMS workers reported more than 4,000 uses of naloxone, an overdose-reversal drug.

For a full list of community service boards that will benefit from the grant, look to the right of this article. If you’re on a mobile device, scroll down.