Pennsylvania has been awarded a $26 million federal grant to combat opioid abuse, according to a press release from the Department of Health and Human Services. 

The funding is part of a larger $485 million grant HHS will provide to all 50 states to battle the opioid crisis. Pennsylvania is the fourth-largest recipient. Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, R-8, of Middletown, applauded Thursday's announcement, saying the money should be used to improve drug prescription monitoring programs, implement prevention activities, train health care providers and expand access to treatment programs. 

"The fact is, our nation’s opioid crisis transcends politics, and so must our response," Fitzpatrick said. "Any response to this challenge must treat the whole person, not just the addiction. We must focus on the underlying issues driving people to seek opioids, while increasing the accessibility and affordability for prevention, education, treatment and recovery of this disease."

The funding comes out of the 21st Century Cures Act and will be provided through the State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grants administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

"These grants aim to increase access to treatment, reduce unmet need, and reduce overdose related deaths," HHS Secretary Tom Price said in a letter sent to governors. "I understand the urgency of this funding; however, I also want to ensure the resources and policies are properly aligned with and remain responsive to this evolving epidemic."