Report: Tracking FY2019 Federal Funding to Combat the Opioid Crisis

The Bipartisan Policy Center released a report in September that tracks spending to address the opioid epidemic across the federal government for fiscal year 2019.

The report provides insight into how funds are being spent at the state and county-level. Reports from states and counties across the country suggest opioid-involved overdose deaths are rising in 2020. Provisional data suggests overall drug overdose death rates climbed by 4.9% in 2019, resulting in more than 71,000 deaths and erasing the slight decline in 2018.

Key take-aways from the report include:

  • Total federal opioid funding in FY2019 was $7.6 billion, up from $7.4 billion in FY2018.
  • $5.3 billion of the funding was disbursed by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and $3.7 billion was administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
  • With few exceptions, the geographic distribution of federal opioid funding has remained relatively stable with funds going to counties with the highest number of overdose deaths.
  • Workforce shortages are a significant barrier to treatment expansion.
  • Incarcerated individuals are not receiving the standard of care for opioid use disorder even though overdose death is the leading cause of death upon release from jails and prisons.
  • Every state funds naloxone training and distribution.

The report includes several state case studies and recommendations to combat the opioid overdose crisis. Read the full report.