Washington promising local states aid to battle the opioid crisis
"We're here because President Trump has made the opioid crisis a top priority." That's the message U-S Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar shared in Kettering.
The Secretary toured a first of its kind facility in Ohio. Brigid's Path helps treat babies who are born with heroin in their system.
There have been five babies who have gone through the treatment facility so far.
"We've had all of our babies stay out of foster care when they leave here, " said Executive Director of Brigid's Path, Jill Kingston.
The stories Azar heard tugged at his heart. He met one young mother whose baby was just seven weeks old.
"Just to see the transformation in her life, her spirit, and her strength, I'm confident about her future and for her daughter. It just moved me to tears. It was unbelievable, " he said.
Azar listened not only to mothers affected by opioid addiction but to local leaders.
He says billions of dollars have already been negotiated by the President and Congress to address not only the opioid crisis but the seriousness of mental illness.
"There will be 3 billion dollars in 2018 followed by another 3 billion dollars in 2019, " Azar said.
"And then 7 billion over the following four years will be devoted around these critical issues."
Of course, Ohio wants to tap into that federal money.
Azar promising the state will not be left out.
"We've made it a particular priority to listen to those who are on the front lines here in the state, at the local level and to understand how we can help you, " Azar remarked.