In a boost to its fight against the opioid epidemic, Connecticut will receive a combined $17 million from two federal agencies to track overdoses and expand access to treatment.

The state will get $11.1 million from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to broaden its availability of medication-assisted treatment, which combines behavioral therapy and medicine to treat addiction.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also allocated $5.9 million to the Connecticut Department of Public Health to help it track overdoses across the state. The money is used to improve reporting by state vital records offices, allowing DPH to report nonfatal data every two weeks and fatal data every six months.

“This supplemental federal funding will further strengthen our existing opioid-related initiatives as we continue to combat the opioid epidemic in our state,” Gov. Ned Lamont said in a statement. “We cannot allow opioid addiction to continue consuming our families and residents. By expanding funding for our opioid efforts, we can work to prevent fatal overdoses and encourage more individuals to seek treatment and begin their path of recovery.”

Connecticut’s influx of funds were a part of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Wednesday announcement of more than $1.8 billion allocated to states across the country. By the end of the year, HHS will have given more than $9 billion in grants to address the opioid crisis since the start of the Trump Administration.

Kelan is a Report For America Corps Member who covers the intersection of mental health and criminal justice for CT Mirror. Before joining CT Mirror, Kelan was a staff writer for City Weekly, an alt weekly in Salt Lake City, Utah, and a courts reporter for The Bryan-College Station Eagle, in Texas. He is originally from Philadelphia.

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