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Erie County to get $300,000 in federal funding for fight against opioids

Erie County is in line to receive $300,000 from the U.S. Justice Department, as part of a $58.8 million federal appropriation to strengthen drug court programs and address the opioid epidemic nationwide, officials said Friday.

“Hopefully, this significant funding from the Department of Justice will further assist our federal, state, and local partners in our combined and ongoing effort to turn the tide in our battle against opioids," Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy Jr. said Friday, in an announcement of the funding.

"It is a battle we continue to fight on multiple fronts,” Kennedy said.

In Erie County, there were 301 confirmed opioid-related deaths in 2016, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.  So far in 2017, there have been 112 confirmed opioid-related deaths, with another 132 suspected deaths, officials said.

The federal funding is meant to support programs designed to connect overdose survivors to services.

Also, the Justice Department has slated $399,344 for the Seneca Nation of Indians, to support county-based approaches to establish diversion and alternatives to incarceration programs for people with opioid-use disorders, according to Kennedy.

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