Grants aid drug concerns

— A $2.8 million federal grant will help Washington state address the problems of prescription opioid and heroin abuse.

Two of the eight grants to the state are for health centers in Yakima County. Community Health of Central Washington and Yakima Neighborhood Health Services will each receive $379,167 from the federal department of Health and Human Services.

“The opioid epidemic is one of the most pressing public health issues in the United States today,” Secretary Sylvia Burwell said.

Burwell said the grants will support 124,000 new patients accessing substance use treatment for recovery.

It’s estimated approximately 4.5 million people in the U.S. are “non-medical” prescription pain reliever users.

Another estimated 289,000 are current heroin users, according to the federal government.


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