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St. Louis County lands $1 million in grants to address opioid epidemic

St. Louis Post-Dispatch - 10/4/2017

Oct. 04--The St. Louis County Department of Public Health has been awarded two grants totaling $1 million from the U.S. Department of Justice to address the opioid epidemic.

One of the grants, for $400,000 over two years, will be used to enhance the St. Louis County Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.

The second grant, for $600,000 over three years, will support collaboration with partners across the state, including St. Louis city, to address the heroin and opiate issues. Kansas City, Columbia and Springfield also are part of that collaboration.

"Heroin remains a deadly epidemic in our region," County Executive Steve Stenger said in a written statement. "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."

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., worked in Congress to ensure the county-based program would be eligible for federal funding after Missouri state legislators failed to set up a statewide system last year. McCaskill said in a statement: "These resources are a vote of confidence in Missouri's city and county level efforts that'll go a long way towards combating prescription drug shoppers that are helping fuel this epidemic."

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(c)2017 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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