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RMU to use $80K grant toward opioids awareness, abuse prevention

Updated: Jan 11, 2020

by Julian Gregorio

Robert Morris University is getting its piece of a $1 million pie in opioid-targeted federal funds, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced in a press release Wednesday.

RMU will snag $83,000, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and expects to use it towards an opioids awareness campaign as well as prevention training for students and staff.

The announcement comes at a time when state and federal agents are trying to tamp down a nationwide opioids crisis and, some say, throwing money at it with little success.

"This is going to take a dedicated response for years," PA Secretary of Health Rachel Levine told the New York Times in 2019. "I think we have bent the curve, but we have just bent the curve."

State senator Pam Iovino, who represents Allegheny County in Harrisburg, tweeted support for RMU's grant on Wednesday, calling it "proactive prevention for a vulnerable population."

Other PA colleges will get funds too, including Duquesne, Shippensburg, Temple, and IUP, which is getting nearly $100,000. The $1 million in secondary-school funds is part of a larger $55 million grant that federal substance-abuse agency gave Pennsylvania.

"We have learned from the opioid crisis that substance use disorder does not discriminate and one of our hardest hit demographics are traditionally college-aged Pennsylvanians age 18-30," said DDAP Secretary Jen Smith, according to the governor's press release.

The governor believes that the grant will prevent deaths.

"Educating college students on the risk of opioid use and training institutions of higher learning on how to administer naloxone are two ways we can save lives and lessen the impact of this crisis," Governor Wolf said.

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