WASHINGTON – In response to America’s most devastating drug epidemic in history, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has earmarked $279 million to prevent drug overdoses. The money will be distributed to 49 states, the District of Columbia, and 40 local health departments. This announcement, made on International Overdose Awareness Day, underscores the urgent need to prevent the hundreds of deadly overdoses happening in America daily.

“The drug overdose crisis in the United States is constantly changing and complex and is claiming the lives of our parents, children, siblings, colleagues, and friends,” said Grant Baldwin, director of the Division of Overdose Prevention at the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.

The CDC says that the crisis has grown more deadly over the past few years due to a combination of factors, including changes in the illicit drug supply, an increase in fentanyl-laced drugs, and a surge in stimulant use. The CDC also sent out an alert warning Americans that drug overdose deaths involving counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl have doubled.

“The growing overdose crisis ― particularly among young people ― requires urgent action,” said Mandy Cohen, Director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The $279 million is in addition to the White House’s announcement on International Overdose Awareness Day that it would be dedicating nearly half a billion dollars to the same cause.

“Today, I grieve with all those who have lost someone to an overdose.  May we find hope in the more than 20 million brave Americans recovering from substance use disorder, who show us what is possible when people have the care, treatment, and support they need,” President Biden said in a statement.

The CDC funds will be administered through two programs known as Overdose Data to Action (OD2A).