JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Aetna Foundation has announced $1 million in grants to the Florida Alcohol Drug Abuse Association, or FADAA.
The announcement comes as a next step in the foundation's commitment to help fight the opioid epidemic, according to a news release from Aetna.
Dr. Garth Graham, president of the Aetna Foundation, was joined by officials from the FADAA, the Florida Hospital Association, Aetna clinical leaders and members of Congress for the announcement.
"Every community impacted by the opioid epidemic faces a unique struggle," Graham said. "From the need to integrate services, to data collection and grass roots support, we're seeing local organizations create new solutions to tackle the crisis. It's our hope that our support will give them the boost they need to turn the tide in their communities."
Officials said the grants will help FADAA grow existing programs aimed at providing support for those impacted by opioid abuse.
"Emergency room visits present a critical moment for intervening in an opioid overdose. With closely integrated resources we can help prevent addicts from slipping back through the cracks," FADAA Executive Director Mark Fontaine said. "These grants will help us create a bridge from emergency rooms to treatment facilities for those experiencing an overdose and provide comprehensive services for this vulnerable population."
Officials said the support comes at a critical moment as the opioid epidemic is having a grave impact in Florida.
"The state experiences an overdose death every 2.5 hours and opioid-related hospital costs topped out at more than $1.1 billion in 2015," according to the news release. "Across the U.S., more than 42,000 people die each year from opioid overdoses."
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