WASHINGTON – With opioid-related overdoses linked to 3,237 deaths in Ohio in 2018, and the state’s neonatal units reporting higher rates of newborns suffering opioid withdrawal, opioid abuse remains a serious health emergency.

To help combat the opioid epidemic, the U.S. Department of Labor today announced the award of $2,833,333 in National Dislocated Worker Grant funding to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to train and employ participants for jobs to address the impacts of the opioid crisis. These jobs include positions as peer recovery coaches, support staff in hospitals to address an increase in drug-related admissions and babies born addicted, and social service aids assisting children placed in foster care due to parental substance abuse.

Supported by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, Opioid Disaster Recovery Dislocated Worker Grants fund temporary employment opportunities in peer recovery positions and services to reintegrate workers affected by the opioid crisis back into the workforce.

In October 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates opioids were involved in 49,860 overdose deaths in 2019, accounting for 70.6 percent of all drug overdose deaths.

Administered by the department’s Employment and Training Administration, the award is the first allocation of an $8,500,000 National Health Emergency Dislocated Worker Grant to continue the services Ohio began under a National Health Emergency Dislocated Worker Grant they previously received in May 2019 to address the impacts of the opioid crisis. This project will be operated by the same 20 workforce development areas that provided services to individuals across the state under the prior award.

Learn more from the National Institute on Drug Abuse about overdose deaths in Ohio.

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