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Sullivan Attends White House Meeting to Address Opioid Epidemic


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WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) today joined a bipartisan group of leaders at the White House for a meeting with the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, chaired by Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ). The commission, created in March 2017, will study ways to combat and treat the opioid crisis, which was responsible for more than 50,000 deaths in 2015 and has caused families and communities across America to endure significant loss and suffering.

 

“I was pleased to attend today’s meeting at the White House where we had a frank and detailed discussion about how to best address the opioid crisis that is impacting so many across Alaska and our country,” said Senator Sullivan. "And while I applaud last week’s announcement of $2 million dollars in grant funding to the State of Alaska by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – which was made possible because of the 21st Century Cures Act of 2016, passed by Congress last December – we must do more. Going forward, I will continue to work with Governor Christie and the Trump administration on this critical issue, especially as it relates to increased funding for treatment centers, as well as the Institutions of Mental Diseases (IMD) Exclusion, which are two of the biggest issues raised during last fall’s Alaska Wellness Summit.”

 

BACKGROUND:

 

·              Through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) the State of Alaska was awarded a $2 million State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grant. The grant is the first of two rounds provided for in the 21st Century Cures Act for the whole country to combat this crisis.

·              The Medicaid Institutions of Mental Diseases (IMD) Exclusion limits qualifying institutions to having 16 beds. These institutions can also only provide services in one location; it’s not a limitation on beds per location, but rather beds per provider. With the limited number of providers in Alaska, this not only limits who provides services, it also limits where they provide services.

 

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