PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Governor Gina M. Raimondo applauded the White House's action today addressing the nation's spreading opioid addiction and overdose crisis. President Barack Obama announced new rules that will expand access to medication-assisted treatment and behavioral supports. Additionally, the White House announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is finalizing rules that will strengthen access to mental health and substance use services for people enrolled in Medicaid. The announcement comes shortly after the White House and HHS released $94 million - including $650,000 for Rhode Island - in new funding for community health centers to increase substance use disorder treatment.
"Opioid addiction and overdose is this generation's public health crisis," Raimondo said. "Overdose is one of the top causes of preventable death in Rhode Island and it reaches into every community in our state. I applaud President Obama's efforts to expand access to treatment. Today's announcement will strengthen efforts already underway in Rhode Island and help us achieve our most important goal in this work: save lives."
"The most important message we can communicate in this fight is that overdose is preventable and recovery is possible," Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH, said. "The President's commitment to expand access to evidence-based treatment will save lives in Rhode Island and every other state."
In her FY 2017 budget, Governor Raimondo proposed $4 million in new funding to address the overdose crisis, including $1.5 million in additional Medicaid funds to expand access to peer recovery supports and $2.5 million to support medication-assisted treatment at the Adult Correctional Institute.