Newsroom > DHHS News Release

Sept. 4, 2015
Kathie Osterman, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-9313
Nebraska Receives Just Over $3 Million in Funding
for Prescription Drug Overdose Prevention
One of 16 states to receive four-year grant from CDC
Lincoln – The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services received just over $3 million in funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help prevent overdose deaths related to a class of prescription drugs that relieve pain called opioids. The funding is part of the Prescription Drug Overdose: Prevention for States program. Funding is $771,249 per year over the next four years.
“Prescription drug misuse and abuse, as well as overdose-related deaths, are a growing problem across the nation including Nebraska,” said Courtney Phillips, CEO of DHHS. “This funding will help us advance prevention in many ways including working with partners to establish prescribing guidelines, increasing provider and patient education and enhancing Nebraska’s prescription drug monitoring program. These efforts will help improve health outcomes and save lives.”
“Physicians strive to provide care appropriately and prescribe safely. They can also be the first point of intervention for someone who is misusing or abusing prescription drugs. The Nebraska Medical Association is pleased to collaborate with DHHS on addressing this issue,” said Richard Blatny, Sr., MD, President of the NMA.
“Nebraska’s prescription drug monitoring program is for health care professionals and focused on improving patient care. This funding gives the Nebraska Health Information Initiative an opportunity to enhance the state’s PDMP by expanding the pool of health care providers who will have access and making the system more user-friendly. NeHII is also working to support public health surveillance with PDMP data,” said Deb Bass, CEO of NeHII.
Fast facts about prescription drug use, abuse and deaths in Nebraska:
  • In 2014, drugs and medications – prescription drugs, illicit drugs, and over-the-counter medications – were the underlying cause of death for 81% of all poisoning deaths. Of all drug overdose deaths, 74% were unintentional. (Source: Nebraska Vital Records)
  • In 2012, Nebraska’s drug overdose age-adjusted death rate was 7.9 per 100,000 up from 3.6 per 100,000 people in 2004. The U.S. age-adjusted drug overdose death rate per 100,000 people was 13.1 in 2012 and 9.3 in 2004. (Source: National Vital Statistics System)
  • 13th lowest state in rate (4.18) of non-medical use of prescription painkillers (2010-2011).
    (Source: National Survey on Drug Use and Health)
The Prescription Drug Overdose: Prevention for States program is part of CDC’s efforts to provide resources and support to advance comprehensive state-level interventions for prevention prescription drug overuse, misuse, abuse and overdose in participating states. In addition to Nebraska, the other states awarded funding are: Arizona, California, Illinois, Kentucky, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont and Wisconsin.