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Tracking Federal Funding to Combat the Opioid Crisis

In 2017, more than 70,000 people in the United States died from a drug overdose, with almost 50,000 of these deaths involving an opioid. The United States is facing a devastating opioid epidemic, and the federal government has responded by investing billions of dollars into prevention, treatment, and recovery efforts over the past two years. This includes efforts to curb the supply of both illicit opioids and unnecessary prescription opioids and to improve access to evidence-based treatment for opioid use disorder. Despite these actions, addiction policy experts believe that the end of the epidemic is not yet in sight.

Considerable attention has focused on the drivers of the opioid epidemic. However, less attention has been paid to whether the federal investments to address the issue are being effectively targeted to the communities most affected and to those with the highest overdose deaths. An effective response requires policymakers to know how resources are allocated and to use that information to minimize duplication and maximize the efficiency of limited resources. The federal government has not previously produced or made available a document that provides this information to the public or policymakers.

Thus, the Bipartisan Policy Center created this first-of-its-kind, comprehensive report that tracks federally funded opioid programs in fiscal year 2017 and FY2018, and examines how these appropriated funds are being directed to address the opioid epidemic.

Over the past six months, BPC conducted a detailed analysis of federal appropriations and identified 57 federal programs that, either entirely or significantly, fund efforts to curb the epidemic. In total, the federal government included nearly $11 billion for these programs in its FY2017 and FY2018 discretionary appropriations bills. This includes a 124 percent increase between FY2017 ($3.3 billion) and FY2018 ($7.4 billion). These programs span the continuum of care, including prevention, treatment, and recovery. In addition, funds are directed to research, criminal justice, public health surveillance, and supply reduction efforts. Between FY2017 and FY2018, funding specifically targeted to opioid use disorder treatment and recovery increased by $1.5 billion (from $599 million to $2.12 billion). Over three quarters (77 percent) of the appropriations to opioid programs are administered by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The report also examines how federal opioid investments are spent across five geographically diverse states: Arizona, Louisiana, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Tennessee. The average drug overdose death rate in the five case study states was nearly one and half times (144 percent) higher than the national average in 2017. Each state case study takes an in-depth look at how these states are allocating the two largest federal opioid grants, the State Targeted Response and State Opioid Response grants. BPC’s analysis also incorporates county-level maps of federal funding and drug overdose deaths from 2015 to 2017 for each of the selected states.


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NATIONAL RATES

OPIOID APPROPRIATIONS FY2018: $22.73 Per Capita; $7,403 million

OPIOID APPROPRIATIONS FY2017: $10.16 Per Capita; $3,311 million

 

DEATH RATES IN 2017: 14.9 Opioid Overdose Death Rate

NATIONAL FACT SHEET

  • State Case Studies, Fact Sheets, and Tracking Data
  • State Fact Sheets and Tracking Data
WA OR CA ID NV WY WV WI VT VA UT TX TN SD SC RI PA OK OH NM NY NJ NH NE ND NC MT MS MO MN MI ME MD MA LA KY KS IN IL IA HI GA FL DE CT CO AZ AR AL AK DC
Alabama

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Alaska

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Arkansas

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California

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Colorado

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Connecticut

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Delaware

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District Of Columbia

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Florida

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Georgia

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Hawaii

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Idaho

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Illinois

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Indiana

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Iowa

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Kansas

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Kentucky

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Louisiana

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Maine

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Maryland

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Massachusetts

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Michigan

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Minnesota

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Mississippi

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Missouri

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Montana

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Nebraska

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Nevada

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New Hampshire

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New Jersey

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New Mexico

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New York

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North Carolina

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North Dakota

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Oklahoma

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Oregon

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Pennsylvania

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Rhode Island

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South Carolina

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South Dakota

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Tennessee

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Texas

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Utah

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Vermont

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Virginia

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Washington

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West Virginia

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Wisconsin

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Wyoming

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Alabama

Opioid Appropriations FY2018
$14.34 Per Capita; $70 million
Opioid Appropriation FY2017 
$9.00 Per Capita; $44 million
Death Rates in 2017
9 Opioid Overdose Death Rate

Alaska

Opioid Appropriations FY2018
$71.71 Per Capita; $53 million 
Opioid Appropriation FY2017 
$28.65 Per Capita; $21 million 
Death Rates in 2017
13.9 Opioid Overdose Death Rate 

Arizona

Opioid Appropriations FY2018
$16.68 Per Capita; $117 million
Opioid Appropriation FY2017 
$10.81 Per Capita; $76 million
Death Rates in 2017
13.5 Opioid Overdose Death Rate

Arkansas

Opioid Appropriations FY2018
$13.97 Per Capita; $42 million
Opioid Appropriation FY2017 
$7.46 Per Capita; $22 million
Death Rates in 2017
6.5 Opioid Overdose Death Rate

California

Opioid Appropriations FY2018
$13.87 Per Capita; $548 million
Opioid Appropriation FY2017 
$9.22 Per Capita; $364 million
Death Rates in 2017
5.3 Opioid Overdose Death Rate

Colorado

Opioid Appropriations FY2018
$16.18 Per Capita; $91 million
Opioid Appropriation FY2017 
$8.70 Per Capita; $49 million
Death Rates in 2017
10 Opioid Overdose Death Rate

Connecticut

Opioid Appropriations FY2018
$18.77 Per Capita; $67 million
Opioid Appropriation FY2017 
$9.84 Per Capita; $35 million
Death Rates in 2017
27.7 Opioid Overdose Death Rate

Delaware

Opioid Appropriations FY2018
$36.12 Per Capita; $35 million
Opioid Appropriation FY2017 
$15.12 Per Capita; $15 million
Death Rates in 2017
27.8 Opioid Overdose Death Rate

District Of Columbia

Opioid Appropriations FY2018
$61.61 Per Capita; $43 million 
Opioid Appropriation FY2017 
$19.08 Per Capita; $13 million
Death Rates in 2017
34.7 Opioid Overdose Death Rate

Florida

Opioid Appropriations FY2018
$15.08 Per Capita; $316 million 
Opioid Appropriation FY2017 
$8.84 Per Capita; $185 million
Death Rates in 2017
16.3 Opioid Overdose Death Rate

Georgia

Opioid Appropriations FY2018
$12.75 Per Capita; $133 million
Opioid Appropriation FY2017 
$8.10 Per Capita; $84 million
Death Rates in 2017
9.7 Opioid Overdose Death Rate

Hawaii

Opioid Appropriations FY2018
$18.61 Per Capita; $26 million
Opioid Appropriation FY2017 
$11.00 Per Capita; $16 million
Death Rates in 2017
3.4 Opioid Overdose Death Rate

Idaho

Opioid Appropriations FY2018
$16.93 Per Capita; $28 million
Opioid Appropriation FY2017 
$7.22 Per Capita; $12 million
Death Rates in 2017
6.2 Opioid Overdose Death Rate

Illinois

Opioid Appropriations FY2018
$14.13 Per Capita; $178 million
Opioid Appropriation FY2017 
$8.33 Per Capita; $107 million
Death Rates in 2017
17.2 Opioid Overdose Death Rate 

Indiana

Opioid Appropriations FY2018
$16.58 Per Capita; $109 million
Opioid Appropriation FY2017 
$7.47 Per Capita; $50 million
Death Rates in 2017
18.8 Opioid Overdose Death Rate

Iowa

Opioid Appropriations FY2018
$16.75 Per Capita; $50 million
Opioid Appropriation FY2017 
$7.42 Per Capita; $23 million
Death Rates in 2017
6.9 Opioid Overdose Death Rate

Kansas

Opioid Appropriations FY2018
$14.81 Per Capita; $40 million
Opioid Appropriation FY2017 
$7.47 Per Capita; $22 million
Death Rates in 2017
5.1 Opioid Overdose Death Rate

Kentucky

Opioid Appropriations FY2018
$27.49 Per Capita; $121 million
Opioid Appropriation FY2017 
$14.88 Per Capita; $66 million 
Death Rates in 2017
27.9 Opioid Overdose Death Rate

Louisiana

Opioid Appropriations FY2018
$17.63 Per Capita; $82 million
Opioid Appropriation FY2017 
$10.30 Per Capita; $48 million
Death Rates in 2017
9.3 Opioid Overdose Death Rate

Maine

Opioid Appropriations FY2018
$27.00 Per Capita; $35 million
Opioid Appropriation FY2017 
$14.14 Per Capita; $19 million
Death Rates in 2017
29.9 Opioid Overdose Death Rate

Maryland

Opioid Appropriations FY2018
$21.30 Per Capita; $131 million 
Opioid Appropriation FY2017 
$8.78 Per Capita; $53 million
Death Rates in 2017
32.2 Opioid Overdose Death Rate

Massachusetts

Opioid Appropriations FY2018
$24.33 Per Capita; $169 million
Opioid Appropriation FY2017 
$10.64 Per Capita; $73 million
Death Rates in 2017
28.2 Opioid Overdose Death Rate 

Michigan

Opioid Appropriations FY2018
$16.27 Per Capita; $164 million
Opioid Appropriation FY2017 
$9.19 Per Capita; $92 million
Death Rates in 2017
21.2 Opioid Overdose Death Rate

Minnesota

Opioid Appropriations FY2018
$12.91 Per Capita; $71 million
Opioid Appropriation FY2017 
$8.34 Per Capita; $47 million 
Death Rates in 2017
7.8 Opioid Overdose Death Rate

Mississippi

Opioid Appropriations FY2018
$14.53 Per Capita; $44 million
Opioid Appropriation FY2017 
$7.90 Per Capita; $24 million
Death Rates in 2017
6.4 Opioid Overdose Death Rate

Missouri

Opioid Appropriations FY2018
$17.11 Per Capita; $102 million 
Opioid Appropriation FY2017 
$8.81 Per Capita; $54 million
Death Rates in 2017
16.5 Opioid Overdose Death Rate 

Montana

Opioid Appropriations FY2018
$35.67 Per Capita; $38 million
Opioid Appropriation FY2017 
$15.15 Per Capita; $16 million 
Death Rates in 2017
3.6 Opioid Overdose Death Rate 

Nebraska

Opioid Appropriations FY2018
$13.82 Per Capita; $27 million
Opioid Appropriation FY2017 
$8.09 Per Capita; $16 million
Death Rates in 2017
3.1 Opioid Overdose Death Rate

Nevada

Opioid Appropriations FY2018
$18.54 Per Capita; $56 million
Opioid Appropriation FY2017 
$11.47 Per Capita; $34 million
Death Rates in 2017
13.3 Opioid Overdose Death Rate 

New Hampshire

Opioid Appropriations FY2018
$44.31 Per Capita; $60 million
Opioid Appropriation FY2017 
$11.93 Per Capita; $16 million 
Death Rates in 2017
34 Opioid Overdose Death Rate

New Jersey

Opioid Appropriations FY2018
$12.73 Per Capita; $118 million
Opioid Appropriation FY2017 
$8.27 Per Capita; $74 million
Death Rates in 2017
22 Opioid Overdose Death Rate

New Mexico

Opioid Appropriations FY2018
$27.54 Per Capita; $58 million
Opioid Appropriation FY2017 
$15.50 Per Capita; $33 million
Death Rates in 2017
16.7 Opioid Overdose Death Rate 

New York

Opioid Appropriations FY2018
$14.98 Per Capita; $297 million 
Opioid Appropriation FY2017 
$10.02 Per Capita; $199 million 
Death Rates in 2017
16.1 Opioid Overdose Death Rate

North Carolina

Opioid Appropriations FY2018
$13.13 Per Capita; $136 million
Opioid Appropriation FY2017 
$7.05 Per Capita; $72 million
Death Rates in 2017
19.8 Opioid Overdose Death Rate 

North Dakota

Opioid Appropriations FY2018
$29.14 Per Capita; $23 million
Opioid Appropriation FY2017 
$14.75 Per Capita; $11 million 
Death Rates in 2017
4.8 Opioid Overdose Death Rate

Ohio

Opioid Appropriations FY2018
$19.23 Per Capita; $225 million 
Opioid Appropriation FY2017 
$10.21 Per Capita; $119 million
Death Rates in 2017
39.2 Opioid Overdose Death Rate

Oklahoma

Opioid Appropriations FY2018
$