TOPEKA — Kansas will receive more than $500,000 in federal grants to help fight the opioid crisis, the U.S. Justice Department announced Friday.
The city of Wichita will receive $398,972 from the Adult Drug Court and Veterans Treatment Courts grant program. The grant is aimed at supporting drug courts that hold offenders accountable and reduce victimization by intervening early in the process to prevent crimes. It also supports programs to assist offenders who are veterans.
The Kansas State Board of Pharmacy will receive $178,680 to support the state’s prescription drug monitoring program. The pharmacy board oversees K-TRACS, a system for monitoring prescriptions for controlled substances.
The grants are part of nearly $59 million the Justice Department announced Friday it will spend to strengthen drug court programs and address the opioid epidemic nationwide.
In 2016, nearly 60,000 Americans lost their lives to drug overdoses, an increase from the 52,000 overdose deaths the year before. The majority of these deaths can be attributed to opioids, including illicit fentanyl and its analogues.
“Today, we are facing the deadliest drug crisis in American history,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “These trends are shocking, and the numbers tell us a lot — but they aren’t just numbers. They represent moms and dads, brothers and sisters, neighbors and friends.”