Kentucky Receives $36 Million to Combat Opioid Abuse

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will distribute nearly $36 million to the State Opioid Response Grant Program. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office announced the allocation on Thursday, which is part of $1.52 billion in this year’s government spending bill that McConnell helped secure as a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The State Opioid Response Grant Program provides the funding as a block grant to the state, which then distributes it through the Kentucky Opioid Response Effort (KORE) office to programs that help prevent, reduce, and treat opioid abuse. The Kentucky League of Cities Board of Directors voted to support legislation that addresses the substance abuse problem in Kentucky that prioritizes treatment, rehabilitation, and workforce reentry.

KLC has also worked with legislators on landmark opioid settlement agreements. Lawmakers passed House Bill 92 during the 2022 Regular Session. The bill was a KLC initiative that clarifies how Kentucky will spend opioid settlement funds. It creates a backstop fund to ensure cities can pay required legal fees.

“Substance abuse and overdose deaths have spiked dramatically in Kentucky over the past few years, adding new urgency to our fight against opioid addiction,” McConnell said. “I was proud to secure billions of dollars for programs that help combat drug abuse in this year’s government funding bill, and I am glad that funding is already delivering much-needed help to the commonwealth. Our fight against substance abuse is far from over, but the grant announced today gives our state the resources to take a positive step in the right direction.”