TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida has been awarded $61.7 million to help fight opioid addiction, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday.
The federal agency said the majority of the funding, $50.1 million, will be targeted to medication-assisted treatment and prevention.
The remaining $11.6 million will be used to help community health centers, academic institutions and rural organizations expand access to substance-abuse and mental-health services.
The awards were announced a week after the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration released a 2017 survey on drug use and health.
The survey found that the number of Americans starting to use heroin dropped by about half from 2016 to 2017. The number of Americans misusing opioids also dropped for the second year in a row.
From January 2017 through August 2018, the amount of opioids prescribed in America has dropped by 21 percent. In the same time, the number of prescriptions filled for naloxone --- a drug used to reverse opioid overdoses --- has increased 264 percent, while the number of prescriptions for buprenorphine, one form of medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction, has risen 16 percent.