$1 Million Awarded to St. Louis County to Fight Opioid Epidemic
The Saint Louis County Department of Public Health has been awarded two grants from the U.S. Department of Justice to address the opioid epidemic. The two grants, totaling $1,000,000, will be used to fund efforts over a three-year period.
“Heroin remains a deadly epidemic in our region,” said County Executive Steve Stenger. “Over the past eight years, more than 2,700 area residents have died from a heroin or opioid-related overdoses. These two grants will greatly enhance our ability to address this deadly threat.”
The first grant will provide $400,000 over two years to enhance the St. Louis County Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP). The second grant will provide $600,000 over three years to support collaboration with partners across the state on sharing innovative ideas and solutions to address the heroin and opiate issues.
The grants also cover the participation costs for all current and potential participating jurisdictions for two years.
The two grants were awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, a division of the U.S. Department of Justice.
“Given the scope of the current crisis, we’re using all the tools at our disposal to combat the problem,” said Dr. Faisal Khan, Director of the Saint Louis County Department of Public Health. “These grants will expand our capacity to continue to address this as a public health priority.”
The St. Louis County PDMP, which is available to the entire state of Missouri, launched in April 2017. Currently, there are 48 jurisdictions participating, encompassing 71% of the state’s population and 88% of all providers in the state. Leaders in most of the participating jurisdictions wrote letters in support of the PDMP grant application, which was also strongly supported by the area’s federal legislative delegation.
St. Louis County applied for the first grant on behalf of all Missouri jurisdictions. Part of the grant will be used to cover the costs for participating counties. The grant will also support the hiring of an additional PDMP staff member, and provide funds for engagement, education, and reporting.
The second grant will fund regional collaboration and will also support the hiring of an additional staff member. The expanded program will permit increased regional collaboration to spread innovative solutions to other areas dealing with this critical issue, the development of community-based interventions, and evaluation of the effort.
As part of the collaborative effort, St. Louis County, the City of St. Louis, Kansas City, Columbia and Springfield are partnering to collect and share regional information.
For more information on the St. Louis County PDMP, visit www.stlouisco.com/PDMP.