Norwalk, CT — Gary Mendell, founder and CEO of Shatterproof, a national nonprofit dedicated to reversing the course of the addiction crisis in America, released the following statement regarding Congress’ new COVID-19 package.
“For the millions of Americans impacted by addiction, it’s been no surprise that the COVID-19 pandemic has made the overdose crisis worse. Isolation, unemployment, loss of structure and access to services. According to the CDC, 81,230 Americans died from an overdose between June 2019 and May 2020, the highest number ever recorded in just one year.
We applaud Congress for passing a $900 billion coronavirus relief package that includes important help for communities affected by addiction.
Key support includes:
- $1.78 billion in additional funding to SAMHSA programs for the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant
- $1.5 billion in funding to the State Opioid Response (SOR) Grants
- Extension of the Certified Community Behavioral Health Centers (CCBHCs) Program
- $1.65 billion for the Mental Health Services Block Grant, and at least 50% of these funds must be directed toward behavioral health providers
- $600 million for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics, something Shatterproof Ambassadors have fought for alongside the National Council
- $50 million for Suicide Prevention Programs
- $50 for Project AWARE, supporting mental health once children return to school
- $240 million for flexible emergency grants to states
- Out of the amounts above, $125 million will be provided to tribes
We thank the thousands of Shatterproof ambassadors and supporters who asked Congress this year to eliminate the DEA waiver through the MAT Act and advance SUD education for all DEA licensed prescribers of controlled substances through the MATE Act.
Shatterproof strongly urges Congress to finish its work and pass the MATE and MAT Acts to advance addiction education for medical professionals and permanently remove regulatory barriers for treatment.
More than 20 million people in our country have a substance use disorder and as the pandemic continues those numbers are rising. It is critical we prioritize evidence-based solutions that will reverse the addiction crisis in America.“