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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sen. Patty Murray announces funding to fight opioid abuse

SEATTLE (AP) – Sen. Patty Murray says eight health centers across Washington state will receive a total of $2.8 million in grants to help fight opioid abuse and addiction.

Community Health Association of Spokane is among them, set to receive $325,000 through the program.

The money is part of the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Health Center Substance Abuse Service Expansion program. Murray, a Democrat, made the announcement about the grants on Friday.

Opioids encompass both heroin and medications used to relieve pain such as oxycodone, morphine and codeine.

Murray’s office says University of Washington research shows that compared to the early 2000s, drug deaths involving opioids have increased 31 percent statewide and publicly funded admissions for treatment increased nearly 200 percent in the same time period. Besides Spokane, the health centers receiving the money are in Tacoma, Wenatchee, and Bremerton, as well as two centers each in Yakima and Seattle.

The rise in overdose deaths involving opioids led to two proposed bills that would make it easier to commit Washington residents involuntarily for drug treatment.

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