comscore Hawaii Health Department gets additional $4M to combat opioid crisis | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Hawaii Health Department gets additional $4M to combat opioid crisis

The state Health Department announced Monday that it has received an additional $4 million in federal grant funds to address and prevent the opioid crisis in Hawaii.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a total of $1.8 billion to states to continue efforts combating the opioid crisis by expanding access to treatment and supporting near real-time data on the drug overdose crisis.

The funding will also be used to support the state Health Department’s Hawaii Opioid Initiative, which brings partners such as the Department of the Attorney General, Department of Public Safety Narcotics Enforcement Division, county police departments, and numerous other community groups together for coordinated efforts to prevent the crisis in Hawaii.

“The additional funding for these efforts allows us to continue our innovative efforts and approaches toward addressing opioid and other substance use issues in our state,” said Edward Mersereau, deputy director for behavioral health, in a news release. “This funding will help expand access, reduce stigma and improve the overall system of care for substance use disorders in Hawaii.”

The state’s Opioid Initiative Plan includes the following:

>> Improving and modernizing health care strategies and access to opioid and other substance misuse treatment and recovery services;

>> Improving prescribing practices among health care providers and health insurance companies for opioid and other potentially addictive medications;

>> Improving systemwide routine data collection and dissemination to inform decision-making and determine best practices;

>> Improving community-based programs and public education to prevent opioid misuse, such as the Hawaii Medication Drop Box Program that was launched in July 2018;

>> Increasing consumer education and prescription harm management through pharmacy-based strategies; and

>> Providing training to supporting law enforcement and first responders to ensure effective laws and policies. This includes the use of Naloxone to reduce the incidence of opioid deaths due to overdose.

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