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KNOXVILLE, Tenn.– U.S. Attorney J. Douglas Overbey announced today $899,488 in Department of Justice grants to Cocke County to fight drug abuse and addiction in the Eastern District of Tennessee. 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.”

“Many of our rural communities in the Eastern District of Tennessee are confronted daily with the challenges of dealing with drug abuse and addiction. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for communities struggling to address the drug epidemic, these federal funds will help provide treatment-related resources and support services through the Tennessee Recovery Oriented Compliance Strategy (TN-ROCS),” said U.S. Attorney Overbey.”TN-ROCS has proved its effectiveness, and I’m pleased OJP has made this award to such a worthy project.”

The TN ROCS project serves Tennessee’s 4th Judicial District, which includes Cocke, Sevier, Jefferson, and Grainger Counties, and its purpose is to increase the capacity of this innovative court-based intervention program to link individuals at high risk of overdose to appropriate, evidence based behavioral health treatment and recovery support services.

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.

For a complete list of individual grant programs, amounts to be awarded and the jurisdictions that will receive funding, visit here and here.

More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov.

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