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  • Ann Tucker

Opioid overdoses have skyrocketed amid the coronavirus, but some states are nevertheless slashing ad

Drug overdoses have skyrocketed and demand for addiction treatment medicine has soared as the coronavirus pandemic continues. But many cash-strapped states are nevertheless slashing budgets for opioid crisis programs.

Oregon is poised to slash $69 million from the state's 2021 budget for behavioral health services. Colorado has already cut $26 million from its own. Georgia, New Jersey, Florida and Utah have also slashed millions for future substance use disorder programs, and in Minnesota, shortfalls in fees collected from pharmaceutical giants will translate into service reductions, too. Other states are paring back Medicaid funding that, nationwide, supports about 21% of the country's spending on substance use disorder programs. Though the federal government earmarked $425 million for behavioral health in its emergency coronavirus relief package, experts say the help won't come close to filling the hole. Read more

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