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The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services announced that it will receive $6.5 million in federal funding for opioid prevention and treatment.

The United States DHHS provided the state with grants from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to a press release.

The funding will go toward the state’s opioid prevention and treatment efforts in the Divisions of Behavioral Health and Public Health.

“This funding supports the Division of Public Health’s efforts to address Nebraska issues and to continue our proactive approach with the goal of preventing misuse, overdoses, and deaths,” director Gary J. Anthone said in the press release.

Terra Uhing, executive director for the Three Rivers Public Health Department, said the department recently submitted its work plan to the DHHS.

“There’s some working with agencies in figuring out who’s carrying Narcan, that kind of stuff, but it just happened Friday, and it’s going to be a month or two before we even get it back from DHHS.”

Uhing said although Three Rivers, which covers Dodge, Saunders and Washington counties, probably won’t receive that much funding, that could be a good thing.

“There are other areas in Nebraska that are way worse off than what our health jurisdiction is, so they’re getting considerably more funding because there’s obviously a need,” she said. “Not that there’s not things that we need to do here, but our data and our statistics don’t quite show the severity of what’s happening in the other communities.”

Uhing said the first year would involve capacity and infrastructure building, as well as strategic planning.

“This funding is absolutely awesome, and it’s going to give us the ability to do some more work and to really strengthen capacity, but without anything like grant results, we’re not even near that yet,” she said. “But we’re excited to be working with the state.”

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