Bloomberg promises to spend $ 120 million on combating fatal drug overdoses

Michael BloombergMichael BloombergA fresh approach to combating the US opioid epidemic Budowsky: A Biden war plan to win the midterm elections in 2022 After a brutal election day, Democrats are taking a smart turn back to the center MORE announced Wednesday that his philanthropy of the same name is making an investment of $ 120 million to help fight fatal overdoses.

Bloomberg Philanthropies will invest $ 120 million over five years in Kentucky, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina and Wisconsin to help address the opioid overdose crisis, according to a statement from the group.

The organization said these five states represent areas that have been “hard hit” by the opioid epidemic. They will each receive $ 10 million over the next five years.

In addition, Pennsylvania and Michigan will be awarded an additional $ 4 million over the first 2018 investment over the next three years.

The group said states that receive funding from philanthropy “have a high burden of overdose deaths” and fall within the top 25 states with the highest rates of overdose deaths in 2019, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In addition, they all saw their overdose deaths increase by 2020.

Wednesday’s promise, unveiled at the 4th annual Bloomberg American Health Summit, brings philanthropy’s total investment in the Bloomberg Opioids Overdose Prevention Initiative to $ 170 million over eight years.

The venture was first launched in 2018 with $ 50 million.

Bloomberg, the founder of the philanthropy group that previously served as mayor of New York City, called the overdose epidemic “one of the worst public health crises we’ve ever faced.”

“[Two hundred fifty-four] Americans die every single day from drug overdoses. It separates families across the country, and we need bolder, nationwide action, especially from the federal government – but we can not afford to wait until that happens, “he added in a statement.

The philanthropic group said their previous investments in Michigan and Pennsylvania to address the opioid epidemic “saw significant results and including savings over the past three years.” According to data collected by the CDC, overdose deaths in the state had been declining before the pandemic.

The big investment comes after the CDC released new data over the summer that showed U.S. overdose deaths had hit a record high of more than 93,000 by 2020.

Last year, 93,331 overdose deaths were recorded, according to the CDC, an increase of nearly 30 percent from the previous year.

The elevated numbers came amid the COVID-19 pandemic, in which people were forced to isolate themselves in their homes to stop the spread of the virus. The pandemic has also stretched and redirected health resources to help efforts to fight the virus.

Of the overdose deaths recorded last year, about 69,000 were attributed to opioids.

Bloomberg Philanthropies acknowledged how the opioid epidemic worsened in the midst of the pandemic, writing that it is expanding the initiative “at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has made the overdose epidemic significantly worse.”

Bloomberg, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper (D), Wisconsin Governor. Tony EversTony EversA fresh approach to combating America’s opioid epidemic Wisconsin governor vows to veto Republican-backed redistricting maps Evers, Johnson sees lame approval in Wisconsin: poll MORE (D) and New Jersey Gov. Phil MurphyPhil Murphy NJ Senate President Sweeney Admits in Dramatically Outraged Democrats Launch Flash to Sell Infrastructure A Fresh Approach to Fighting the U.S. Opioid Epidemic MORE (D) wrote a statement in The Hill on Wednesday calling for federal support to combat the availability of drugs that are cheap and readily available at street level.

The four officials called the existence of these drugs “the leading cause of the overdose epidemic.”


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