Minnesota will invest more than $17.7 million it received in federal grant funding to help combat the opioid epidemic throughout the state.

The State Opioid Response grant will provide $8,870,906 a year for the next two years and will be used to reach Minnesotans struggling with opioids with life-saving treatment quickly, reduce deaths from opioid overdose and to prevent opioid use disorder in Minnesota’s most vulnerable communities.

The new funding will be distributed through grants to Minnesota counties, tribes and community agencies to build on ongoing work, expand services to new areas, increase the availability of emergency response drugs such as Naloxone and launch new efforts to bring an end to the opioid crisis. Counties, tribes and community agencies will be able to apply for grants through an open process starting next month.