San Juan, Puerto Rico – U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow today announced awards of $3,107,586 in Department of Justice grants to fight drug abuse and addiction in the District of Puerto Rico. The grants were awarded by the Department’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) and are part of more than $341 million going to communities nationwide.
“The addiction crisis has taken an enormous toll on America’s families and communities, eroding public health, threatening public safety and claiming tens of thousands of lives year after year,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “Through comprehensive measures taken by this administration, we have been able to curtail the opioid epidemic, but new and powerful drugs are presenting exceptional challenges that we must be prepared to meet. The Justice Department’s substantial investments in enforcement, response, and treatment will help us overcome these challenges and work towards freeing Americans from abuse and addiction.”
Illegal drugs and illicit drug use have claimed the lives of nearly 400,000 Americans since the turn of the century. Powerful synthetic opioids like fentanyl are exacting an enormous toll on families and communities, and an emergence in the use of methamphetamines and other psychostimulants is drawing drug traffickers and driving up overdose rates. Three years ago, President Trump declared a Public Health Emergency and initiated a whole-of-government approach dedicated to ending this national tragedy. The Department of Justice has invested unprecedented levels of funding in combating the addiction crisis. The awards announced today build on those earlier investments.
“If we hope to defeat an enemy as powerful, persistent and adaptable as illicit drugs, we must be at least as determined and versatile, focusing our ingenuity and resources on curbing abuse and fighting addiction,” said OJP’s Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan. “These grants will enable criminal justice officials and substance abuse, mental health and other medical professionals to pool their assets and bring the full weight of our public safety and treatment systems down on this epidemic that has already caused so much harm.”
“Combatting the opioid crisis is a Department of Justice priority,” said U.S. Attorney Muldrow. “Prevention and access to effective treatments for opioid abuse and addiction are critical to fighting this epidemic.”
Funding is made available through OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, National Institute of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime and Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
The following organizations received funding:
- Municipality of Bayamón: $890,070 for the Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Site-based Program, which provides financial and technical assistance to state, local and tribal jurisdictions to reduce opioid and stimulant abuse and fatalities, and mitigate impacts on crime victims.
- Mental Health and Anti-Addiction Services Administration (ASSMCA, for its acronym in Spanish): $2,000,000 for the Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, which enhances the capacity of regulatory and law enforcement agencies and public health officials to collect and analyze controlled substance prescription data and other scheduled chemical products through a centralized database administered by an authorized agency.
- Puerto Rico Department of Correction and Rehabilitation: $217,516 for the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment for State Prisoners Program, which helps states develop and implement residential substance abuse treatment programs within state and local correctional facilities.
The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years