The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will distribute $3 billion in funding from the American Rescue Plan for addiction and mental health block grants.
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 is a $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package designed to facilitate the United States’ recovery from the devastating economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Across America, we are seeing a startling rise in mental health and substance use disorders during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. Rachel Levine said in a news release announcing the block grants. “We know multiple stressors during the pandemic — isolation, sickness, grief, job loss, food instability and loss of routines — have devastated many Americans and presented the unprecedented behavioral health challenges across the nation.”
A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found more than 87,000 Americans died of overdoses in the 12-month period that ended in September — a 29% increase from the previous year. The number of overdoses was higher than any year since the opioid epidemic began in the 1990s.