Home | news | Press Releases

Press Releases

Tonko Delivers Boost to Nation’s Mental Health & Addiction Recovery

Tonko-led 2022 Budget provisions would strengthen funding for substance use and mental health programs, harm reduction & support research in COVID impact on kids’ mental health

  • Rep. Paul Tonko

WASHINGTON—Congressman Paul D. Tonko cheered House passage today of major funding expansions for U.S. mental health and addiction programs that he has been pushing to secure as part of the Fiscal Year 2022 Federal Budget. Tonko provisions that advanced in the package include funding for opioid treatment programs, substance use prevention grants and research to examine the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of children.

“Last year, we lost 93,000 neighbors and loved ones to drug overdose. 93,000,” Congressman Tonko said. “It is more critical than ever that we deliver the resources needed to combat the disease of addiction and help countless struggling Americans find and follow the path of recovery. And we cannot ignore the devastating impact COVID-19 has had on the mental health of millions of Americans especially our children. Today the House took urgently-needed action to tackle these crises and support our communities. I’ll continue pushing to ensure that, through this pandemic and beyond, we improve and expand access to treatments that will help those most in need.”

Rep. Tonko has long championed greater support for addiction treatment and mental health services. In the wake of the pandemic, he introduced the COVID-19 Mental Health Research Act, legislation that would fund research to study the effects COVID-19 has on the mental health of Americans, with an emphasis on its impact on children and health care providers.

During his years in Congress, he has also  advanced numerous bills to expand addiction treatment and address the nation’s opioid crisis. Earlier this month, Tonko and his colleagues sent a letter to President Biden calling for him to support the bipartisan MAT Act and strengthen access to medication-assisted treatment.

Mental health and addiction provisions in the House-passed legislation include:

  • $2.8 billion for the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant (SABG) an increase of $1 billion over the FY 2021 enacted level.
  • $40 million for COVID Research and National Institutes of Health (NIH) designated for research related to the impact of COVID-19 on children and on mental health
  • $69.5 million for expanding activities to target infectious disease consequences of injection drug use including the purchase of syringes as part of a public health campaign to provide services to individuals involved in injection drug use to help reduce injection-related infections and save lives.
    • Rep. Tonko co-led the letter asking for the increase in syringe services program funding
  • $9.16 billion for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)– an increase of $3.14 billion above the FY 2021 enacted level. SAMHSA funding provides vital support for: 
    • Mental Health: $3.16 billion, an increase of $1.36 billion over the FY 2021 enacted level, including an $825 million increase to the Mental Health Block Grant (MHBG), making investments across the behavioral health continuum to support prevention, screening, treatment, and other services 
    • Increasing the mental health crisis systems set-aside in the MHBG to 10 percent 
    • Substance use treatment: $5.5 billion, an increase of $1.6 billion above the FY 2021 enacted level, including continued funding for opioid prevention and treatment, recovery, and tribal-focused treatment efforts. $2 billion for State Opioid Response Grants, an increase of $500 million over the FY 2021 enacted level; and $136.5 million, an increase of $56.5 million, for Medication Assisted Treatment 
    • Creating a new 10 percent set-aside within the SABG to support recovery services 
    • Substance abuse prevention: $243.5 million, an increase of $35 million above the FY 2021 enacted level 



Stay Connected