In recent years, drug overdoses have increased 550% among young people and 120% among Latinos
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) announced that $50,000 in federal funding is headed to the PACT Coalition for Safe and Drug Free Communities in Las Vegas to help prevent opioid, methamphetamine, and prescription drug misuse among young people.
“I’m glad this funding I helped secure will support mental health treatment and reduce substance abuse among young Nevadans, who are especially vulnerable as opioid- and drug-related deaths rise across the country,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “Local health coalitions have played an important role in combatting the opioid epidemic, and I’ll continue working to support their important work.”
The funding is made possible through the CARA Local Drug Crises grant program, which helps implement innovative prevention strategies to reduce substance use and its consequences among youth ages 12-18 in the United States. The pandemic compounded multiple stressors, limited access to resources, and increased social stigma around mental health—putting vulnerable young people at higher risk for opioid and drug addiction. This grant program is aimed at changing the culture and context that make young people susceptible to substance abuse.
Senator Cortez Masto has focused on mental and behavioral health issues, including substance use disorders. She recently secured $950,000 in the FY22 government spending bill to help Clark County School District better support students recovering from substance abuse and mental health struggles. Last year, she also ensured the American Rescue Plan included $3 billion to strengthen mental-health and substance-abuse programs amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, she helped pass the bipartisan COVID-19 relief package, which included $4.25 billion for mental health and substance abuse treatment.
The senator has introduced legislation to improve emergency service responses to mental health crises, fund virtual peer support behavioral health programs, ensure communities of color have access to mental health care, and help tribal access the resources they need to support those struggling with mental health or substance use issues. She has also called on the administration to do more for mental health disorders and asked Congressional leadership to address mental health needs arising from the coronavirus pandemic.