Health Department to Use Grant to Combat Opioid Crisis

Tue September 19, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DUPAGE COUNTY-The DuPage County Health Department will receive $1.5 million dollars in federal funds over the next four years to provide training and medication for emergency treatment of opioid overdose. 

"Clearly the opioid crisis is beyond the scope of local assets, so we are thrilled with this infusion of resources," said Karen Ayala, Health Department Executive Director.

The First Responders-Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) Grant, to provide training and medication for emergency treatment of opioid overdose, is authorized by the CARA Act of 2016 to fight the opioid epidemic through prevention, treatment, recovery, overdose reversal, and other efforts.

"These funds will support the existing efforts of the DuPage Narcan Program (DNP) to save lives, and allow us to develop a more robust system for wrap-around services to survivors of opioid abuse," Ayala said.

There have been 105 lives saved in 2017 through the use of Narcan, which reverses the effects of opioids. The DNP has saved 344 lives since the program was initiated in 2013, under the leadership of DuPage County Coroner, Dr. Richard Jorgensen and the DuPage County Chiefs of Police Association.

Dan Cronin, DuPage County Board Chairman said, "I would like to congratulate the Health Department for securing this grant to continue DuPage County's fight against opioid abuse and heroin addiction. The DNP has trained law enforcement officials across our County and other counties across our region, saving countless lives. This grant will enable us to continue our efforts to decrease the number of heroin- and opioid-related deaths. We would also like to thank our Congressional delegation for their support in acquiring this grant."

Undersheriff Frank Bibbiano stated, "The collaboration between the DuPage County Health Department and the Sheriff's Office continues to break down barriers in the growing opioid crisis and we will continue to attack the opioid crisis head-on." Bibbiano added, "The awarding of the CARA Grant to the DuPage County Health Department helps pave the way for assistance to be available to those in our community suffering from opioid addictions, as well as provide our first responders with Narcan and opioid-based training."

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded an additional $144.1 million in grants to prevent and treat opioid addiction in support of President Trump's commitment to combat the opioid crisis. The CARA grant is administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

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