August 08, 2018

Warner & Kaine Announce Nearly $100,000 in Federal Funding for Virginia Tech to Help Address Opioid Crisis in Martinsville

~ Research will bring together local stakeholders to tackle growing opioid epidemic ~

 WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) announced that Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) will receive $99,705 in federal funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). The funds will be used to conduct a two-year research project that will bring together community partners and stakeholders in Martinsville, VA to help address the local opioid crisis. The project will be led by a community-based research team from Virginia Tech in collaboration with the Martinsville Opioid Task Force.  

“The opioid crisis is having a devastating impact on communities all across Virginia,” said the Senators. “These funds will allow Virginia Tech to work collaboratively with residents, stakeholders, and organizations to address this public health epidemic and help save lives in Martinsville.”

A recent report by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that patients in the City of Martinsville are prescribed more opioids than anywhere else in the country. Over six years, from 2011 through 2016, the City of Martinsville and Henry County recorded 53 overdose deaths due to prescription opioids, fentanyl, and heroin.

Opioid overdose has become the leading cause of accidental death in Virginia, causing Sens. Warner and Kaine to drive forward legislation to combat the crisis. In June, Sen. Warner voted in the Senate Finance Committee to advance the Helping to End Addiction and Lessen (HEAL) Substance Use Disorders Act of 2018, which included four bipartisan proposals put forward by Sen. Warner aimed at combating the opioid crisis. In April, Sen. Kaine helped advance legislation in the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee that he co-sponsored called The Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018, which included provisions of two bills Kaine introduced and more than forty different proposals to increase the ways resources can be spent to combat this epidemic. In March, Sens. Warner and Kaine voted for the omnibus bill that increased funding to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to support programs related to the opioid crisis, including an additional $2.8 billion for treatment, prevention and research.