Press Release: 17-051
JUNEAU – Governor Bill Walker announced today the next steps in building a safer Alaska: the state will receive a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to combat heroin and opioid addiction. The funds come from the two-year State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grants (STOG), and will go to support prevention, treatment, and recovery services focused on individuals suffering from opioid addiction.
“We continue to make major efforts to address this public health crisis, and it’s good to see that the federal government recognizes the work that has been done so far,” Governor Walker said. “I directed my commissioners to go after every grant available to address the state’s growing opioid epidemic, and we are doing just that. This funding will be of vital importance as we continue our efforts to address our opioid epidemic by providing the resources and the supports individuals need to break the cycle of opioid abuse, and create a safer Alaska.”
The grant will allow Alaska to support the five pillars of combatting opioids: strengthening public health assessment, advancing the practice of pain management, improving access to treatment and recovery resources, increasing the availability and distribution of overdose-reversing drugs like naloxone, and assisting cutting-edge research. The Walker-Mallott Administration is currently working to identify which programs and services will be augmented by the funds.
The $2 million is a part of an immediate disbursement of federal STOG funds to all 50 states and the six U.S. territories to address the nationwide opioid crisis.
- February 14 – Governor Walker issued a 30-day disaster declaration so naloxone could be distributed statewide
- February 16 – Governor Walker issued Administrative Order 283 establishing a plan of action that directs state departments to prioritize resources to combat the opioid epidemic and apply for federal grants to fund prevention, treatment and enforcement
- March 6 – Governor Walker filed legislation (HB 159/SB 79) to change the way opioids are prescribed and monitored
- March 10 – Governor Walker filed SB 91 to extend disaster declaration
- March 21 – Governor Walker signed SB 91, life-saving naloxone bill, into law
- April 17 – Governor Walker announced Alaska’s participation in CDC-NGA project
- April 20 – Governor Walker announced Alaska’s receipt of $2 million in federal STOG funds