LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A national grant package announced by the Centers for Disease Control includes money directly to Arkansas to fight drug overdoses.

Arkansas will receive $2,155,910 from the $279 million national package. The money is allocated to the Arkansas Department of Health to support community efforts to prevent drug overdose.

The CDC made the announcement on Thursday to coincide with International Drug Abuse Awareness Day. Funding was allocated to 49 states, the District of Columbia and 40 local health departments, a CDC spokesperson stated.

CDC director Dr. Mandy K. Cohen expressed the critical need for the funding.

“The growing overdose crisis ― particularly among young people ― requires urgent action,” Cohen said. “To help, CDC is providing funding that will allow communities to respond more quickly, more effectively and more equitably — using data to drive action steps that reduce overdose deaths and related harms in communities as fast as possible.”

The CDC lists specific goals the funding will help achieve to prevent overdose deaths:

  • Increased access and reduced barriers to recovery and support treatment.
  • Increasing awareness about fentanyl use, including it being used in combination with other drugs, called polysubstance abuse.
  • Reduce the stigma around treatment and recovery.
  • Expand access and education about the opioid reversal drug naloxone.
  • Expand education about substance abuse in at-risk populations.

The CDC states that those who need help with a substance abuse disorder, either their own or a family member’s, to talk to their doctor or call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP or find recovery options through the SAMHSA website.

The CDC states that if someone has questions about any medicines, they should call the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Poison Help Hotline at 1-800-222-1222. 

Arkansas has six certified recovery centers throughout the state.