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Indiana to receive $19 million in opioid settlement funds this year

By Marissa Meador, Indiana Capital Chronicle

The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration on Tuesday awarded $19 million in National Opioid Settlement funds to local organizations to address the ongoing opioid crisis.

Another $57 million is coming from the American Rescue Plan Act for crisis services.

The opioid settlement funds will be spread across 30 local governments, community organizations and service providers to invest in treatment, prevention and harm reduction, while ARPA money will further the state’s work in building a response system for mental health crises.

 “While the state has a role to play in the fight against the drug epidemic, real change happens at the local level,” Douglas Huntsinger, Next Level Recovery executive director, said in the press release. “Any time we have an opportunity to infuse more dollars into a community for the benefit of Hoosiers, we take advantage of it. These funds will go a long way toward building out the care continuum and improving outcomes for Hoosiers with substance use disorders and mental health needs.” 

This year is the second year Indiana has received money from a national settlement with opioid distributors and manufacturers for opioid-related harms. In total, Indiana will receive $507 million over 18 years, which is just a piece of the total $26 billion from the settlement.

While determining grant recipients, FSSA received 78 proposals requesting a total of $93 millionTo qualify, applicants had to provide match funding. Ultimately, FSSA awarded 30 opioid settlement grants spanning 28 counties, including four grants directly to local governments — the city of Valparaiso and Shelbyville as well as Kosciusko and Jennings counties.

The largest grant was $3.2 million in funding to help Whitley County build a new facility for recovery housing services.

In addition to opioid settlement funds, FSSA will administer the $57 million in federal Crisis Receiving and Stabilization Services grants for 15 community mental health centers across the state. The grants are designed to advance the state’s crisis response system and provide a safe place to help those experiencing a mental health crisis.

The largest grant was $7.6 million for Southlake Community Mental Health Center in Lake County to establish a new Crisis Receiving and Mental Health Stabilization Services Program.

“Crisis receiving and stabilization services are critical to providing crisis services,” said Jay Chaudhary, director of FSSA’s Division of Mental Health and Addiction. “Currently, too many Hoosiers experiencing a mental health crisis end up in emergency departments or county jails. These grants will help bridge gaps and offer a therapeutic and compassionate alternative pathway for individuals and communities in crisis.”

This article originally appeared on Indiana Capital Chronicle.

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