States Can Now Use Federal Opioid Funds to Tackle Meth and Cocaine

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A spending bill passed by Congress late last year allows states to use funds earmarked for the opioid crisis to be used instead to tackle the surge in meth and cocaine use, The New York Times reports.

The change affects a $1.5 billion grant program previously restricted to dealing with the opioid epidemic. Starting in 2020, states can use those funds to counter addiction to “stimulants,” a term the government uses to refer to meth and cocaine.

“Meth and cocaine are making a comeback and they are more potent than they were during the last wave,” Mark Stringer, Director of Missouri’s Department of Mental Health, told the newspaper. “Where meth is much more prevalent than opioids, this will be a game-changer.”

Meth is the biggest cause of drug-related deaths in most states west of the Mississippi, government data for 2017 shows.

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