CDC awards states money to combat opioid abuse

WASHINGTON — Maryland and Virginia will soon have more than a half-million dollars each in federal money to combat the opioid epidemic.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is awarding 44 states and the District a total of $28.6 million to support response to opioid overdoses.

States can use the money to scale up prevention by increasing drug monitoring programs and improving clinical reporting, the CDC said in a news release.

D.C. will receive more than $300,000, less than Maryland and Virginia because the states are being awarded under a different federal program.

“Drug overdoses have dramatically increased over the last two decades in America,” Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, director of the CDC, said in a release. “This additional CDC funding to states, who are on the frontlines of the opioid overdose epidemic, is critical to help them scale up prevention efforts to fight this crisis and save lives.”

The opioid epidemic claimed 1,800 lives in Maryland in 2016 and more than 1,100 in Virginia.

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