Governor Kelly Announces Nearly $3 Million to Support Kids Exposed to Drugs

Topeka, KS- Governor Laura Kelly today announced that the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) will receive nearly $3 million from the U.S. Department of Justice to better identify and support children exposed to drugs, increase public safety, and reduce overdose death. These efforts are part of KDHE’s All Hands on DECK (drug-endangered children in Kansas) project.

“It is critical that we make resources and help available to stop the impact of drug addiction on our children,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “This funding will be instrumental in curbing the generational impact drugs have on Kansas families.”

In Kansas, an estimated 140,860 children live in environments where their parent or caregiver has a substance use disorder (SUD), and an estimated 5,155 Kansas infants are born exposed to substances every year. Drug-endangered children are more likely to develop chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. They are also more likely to develop substance use disorder, financial difficulties, and employment challenges.

“This important All Hands on DECK funding is an investment in Kansas children and a lifeline for family members with substance use disorder,” Joan Duwve, M.D., KDHE State Health Officer, said. “The funds will provide the support needed to implement DECK coalitions in six funded communities and will help to increase education and awareness of drug-endangered children in Kansas.”

The project will work with populations of focus who are disproportionately impacted by substance use disorder and drug overdose. It divides the state into six regions to ensure geographic equity between rural/frontier and urban areas of the state and will engage Kansas tribes, including Iowa, Kickapoo, Potawatomi and Sac and Fox.

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