Gem State Roundup

CDC gives Idaho $2M to combat drug overdoses

By: - September 5, 2023 4:15 am
prescription drug bottle

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week gave the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare about $2 million to prevent drug overdoses. (Getty Images)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week gave the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare about $2 million to prevent drug overdoses. 

The CDC gave out $279 million of those funds to 49 states, the District of Columbia and 40 local health departments. In a news release, the CDC said the funds were designed in part to expand Idaho’s use of harm reduction strategies, provide people access to life-saving care and expand data availability. 

“The drug overdose crisis in the United States is a constantly evolving, unwieldy, calculating presence that is claiming the lives of our parents, children, siblings, colleagues and friends,” said Grant Baldwin, director Division of Overdose Prevention at CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, said in a news release. “CDC is committed to saving lives, and to do this we must provide our communities with the resources they need to stay ahead of and respond to this crisis.” 

Three-hundred eighty-one Idahoans died from overdoses last year, Idaho Gov. Brad Little said on Twitter. The number of deaths have jumped each year recently from 354 in 2021, 287 in 2020 and 265 in 2019, federal data shows.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare will distribute the funds to other organizations, including seven public health districts, tribes and public safety organizations, spokesperson Greg Stahl told the Idaho Capital Sun in an email.

The funds will go toward boosting data capacity, educating health care providers, supporting public safety initiatives in responding to suspected overdoses and educating the public on how to respond to an overdose and about the risks of illicitly manufactured fentanyl, Stahl said.

The data capacity goal includes monitoring opioid overdose rates through visits to the emergency departments, emergency medical service runs and overdose deaths, he said.

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