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Allegheny

Allegheny County gets $1.7M in grants to combat opioid crisis

| Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018, 12:21 p.m.
A naloxone nasal injection device is shown.
A naloxone nasal injection device is shown.

The Allegheny County Health Department said it received nearly $1.7 million in federal grants to help combat the opioid epidemic and health inequality in the county.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is giving the department $960,000 over two years, a Health Department news release said.

The money will be used to help police and fire departments in the county distribute naloxone and naloxone leave-behind, as well as supporting the training of community members and organizations to prevent overdoses and administer naloxone in high-risk areas.

Naloxone, often known by the brand-name Narcan, is a drug that can reverse overdoses caused by opioids like heroin and fentanyl. If an overdose survivor refuses hospital treatment, paramedics can leave behind naloxone that can revive them if they overdose again.

A U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention program aimed at reducing risk factors for chronic disease in African-Americans gave $734,563 to the Health Department, the release said. The department plans to use the money to help improve food access, improve options for physical activity and connections to clinical care, as well as provide mini-grants to organizations.

“We’re excited to receive these grants, both of which were very competitive grants, that will help us address some of the county’s most challenging issues,” department Director Dr. Karen Hacker said in the release. “The projects supported by these grants align with our priorities outlined in the Plan for a Healthier Allegheny and support our goal of health equity. We’re grateful to have the support and hope to make progress on both issues in our community.”

Theresa Clift is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Theresa at 412-380-5669, tclift@tribweb.com or via Twitter @tclift.

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