By KAREN KASLER
Federal money to fight the opioid crisis nearly doubled in the last two years, according to a national think tank’s new report analyzing that funding.
The Bipartisan Policy Center says $343 million federal dollars poured into Ohio over the last two fiscal years – nearly twice as much last year as the year before, going from $10 to $19 per Ohioan.
Dr. Anand Parekh with the Bipartisan Policy Center said more than half of the money went to the state’s most populous counties – though some of the highest death rates were in rural counties.
“I think it’s a reminder for really all policy makers and officials that we need to continue our focus on vulnerable regions like rural America particularly because they have limited treatment infrastructure and workforce capacity,” Parekh said.
85 percent went to treatment and recovery, prevention or a mix of both, with the rest going to law enforcement and research.
The report said Ohio had the nation’s highest number of opioid related deaths between 2014 and 2017.