August 15, 2023

Representative Salinas, Senators Wyden and Merkley Announce $300,000 Grant to Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde to Combat Opioid Epidemic

Tigard, OR – Today, U.S. House Representative Andrea Salinas (D-Tigard) and U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded $300,000 to the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde for opioid overdose response. These funds are part of the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP), an initiative aimed at reducing substance use disorder fatalities in high-risk rural communities.

“As the federal government works to combat the spread of opioids, it cannot afford to overlook rural and tribal communities,” said Representative Salinas. “That’s why I’m glad the Department of Health and Human Services will award $300,000 to the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde for opioid overdose response programs. Indigenous communities face significant obstacles to substance use disorder care, and these funds will help break down barriers to ensure our most at-risk communities get the help they urgently need.”

“Oregonians in every nook and cranny of the state have had their lives torn apart by the opioid crisis, and that includes members of the tribes that have inhabited this land since time immemorial,” said Senator Wyden. “I’m gratified to see these funds go to help the Grand Ronde people prevent and respond to opioid overdoses, but this scourge demands a comprehensive response and this federal investment in prevention, treatment and more will help. I’ll keep battling to provide all the resources needed to address this crisis with the urgency it requires.”

“Across our state, I’ve heard heart-wrenching stories from Oregonians who have lost loved ones and lacked the support needed to prevent overdoses,” said Senator Merkley. “This critical funding will help the Grand Ronde community with the resources they need to combat this crisis. This is just the start of what Oregonians need to eventually end the opioid crisis.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of drug overdose deaths nationwide has quintupled since 1999. Between 2019 and 2020, opioid-involved death rates increased by 38% and synthetic opioid-involved death rates increased by 56%. In 2021, Oregon saw 779 opioid overdose deaths, which accounted for 67% of all drug overdose deaths in the state.