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Rep. Stivers Announces Funding for HEALing Communities Study in Ohio

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Washington, April 18, 2019 | comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representative Steve Stivers (R-OH) congratulated the State of Ohio on being selected to participate in the HEALing Communities Study to research and address the opiate epidemic. A consortium, led by The Ohio State University (OSU) and consisting of academic, state, and community stakeholders, will receive $13.1 million in federal funding in the first year of the study and $69.5 million over four years. Stivers led the Ohio Congressional delegation in a letter of support of Ohio’s proposal.

“This is exactly what a flag ship research facility like Ohio State should be doing,” Stivers said.  “I appreciate the university focusing on this epidemic facing our state and working to research the treatments and evidence-based solutions to combat opiate misuse.  It is clear that the toll of addiction and overdoses has been devastating to our communities, and I believe this study can make a real difference in the fight against opiates in Ohio.”

Ohio is currently the epicenter of a devastating national epidemic of substance use disorders and overdoses. This is highlighted by an overdose death rate of 46.3 per 100,000 individuals, which is the second highest in the country and more than double the national average in 2017.

“This initiative will advance the most effective solutions to the opioid crisis and bring them to scale quickly,” said The Ohio State University’s President Dr. Michael Drake. “We are committed to doing everything we can to end this public health crisis in our state and, through our example, beyond. We appreciate our state leaders, including Rep. Stivers and our entire congressional delegation, standing together in support of this vital initiative.”

Specifically, the OSU-led consortium will use the funding to research and analyze the opioid epidemic in cooperation with other universities including the University of Cincinnati and Case Western Reserve, while Ohio University in Athens, the University of Toledo, and Wright State University will coordinate work in Ohio communities.  The State of Ohio will receive shared research findings with various academic, county, and community partners to analyze, implement, and replicate evidence-based interventions aimed at increasing the access to addiction treatment and prevention services and reducing drug fatalities.

The HEALing Communities Study is funded by a partnership with the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).  The goal of the study is to decrease opioid overdose fatalities by at least 40 percent over three years in communities that suffer high rates of opiate misuse.

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