Funding the EMS response to the opioid epidemic
HHS, CDC commit opioid funding grant money to public health based models for combating the crisis
This past April, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, M.D., announced that the HHS will provide $485 million in grants to help states combat opioid addiction.
The funding has been allocated to all 50 states over two years through the State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grants provided in the 21st Century Cures Act.
Every EMS agency in the country has been impacted by opioids, and their effect on first responders has been just as varied the calls themselves. This is confirmed by data from NEMSIS, opioid prescriptions and mortality records that confirm substantial geographic variation in the availability and harm from opiates, even across counties within the same state, suggesting that local communities are at different stages of the epidemic.
Funding for EMS response to the opioid crisis will revolve around comprehensive community-based approaches. This public health-based model is built on the premise that overdose deaths are preventable and all communities are responsible for their own health. These are the leading strategies for EMS and fire departments along with upcoming funding for curbing the opioid epidemic in America.