Louisiana awarded $5 million in fight against opioid crisis

WWL Newsroom
August 16, 2019 - 9:38 am

Nearly $400 million nationally in grant funding is being awarded by the US Department of Health and Human Services with nearly $5 million coming to Louisiana.  Assistant Secretary for the Office of Public Health Dr. Alex Billioux says the money funds two factors of their efforts.

“One of those is surveillance and really understanding the size of the problem that we have with opioids and other substances in the state. And the other is prevention,” said Billioux.

Billioux says while the state’s number of opioid overdose deaths continues to grow, the rate of growth has slowed down.

“We had a much lower growth from 2017 to 2018 than we had from 2016 to 2017, so you have to start slowing down before you can reverse,” said Billioux.

Billioux says much of the spending will lay infrastructure to continue with other health goals linked to drug use.  This includes getting rid of hepatitis C within the next five years.

“We’re part of the President’s plan to end the HIV epidemic, especially focusing on New Orleans and East Baton Rouge and this allows us to tie all of those activities together and their intersection about opioid use as well as other substances,” said Billioux.

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