The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) today announced the availability of new funding to combat the prescription opioid and heroin crisis. The funds, made available through the State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grants, will provide up to $970 million to states and territories over the next two years, beginning in fiscal year 2017.
“This funding holds the promise of saving and restoring thousands of lives throughout our nation,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Kana Enomoto. “These grants will allow communities; particularly those most devastated by the opioid crisis, to provide services that can promote prevention and deliver treatment and recovery to people needing help.”
These grants will help address the opioid crisis by providing support to states for increasing access to treatment, reducing unmet treatment need, and reducing opioid-related overdose deaths. States and territories will be awarded funds through a formula based on unmet need for opioid use disorder treatment and drug poisoning deaths.
These grants are the latest element in a series of initiatives the Obama Administration has undertaken to address this crisis. On December 13, 2016, the President signed the 21st Century Cures Act, which implements his Budget proposal to provide $1 billion in new funding to combat the opioid crisis. Major parts of the Administration’s effort also include expanding community-based efforts to prevent drug use before it begins, empowering healthcare workers to intervene in dealing with patients at earlier stages of substance use disorder, expanding access to treatment for those who need it, supporting the millions of Americans in recovery, and pursuing targeted approaches to drug enforcement.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Opioid Initiative, which was launched in March 2015, is focused on improving opioid prescribing practices; expanding access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder; and increasing the use of naloxone to reverse opioid overdoses. The initiative concentrates on evidence-based strategies that can have the most significant impact on the opioid overdose epidemic.
The new funding also promotes the evidence-based public health approach outlined in the Surgeon General’s recent report, Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health. The report stresses the importance of the full range of services that will be funded through these grants – including getting vital treatment to people dealing with substance use disorders, and significantly reducing the number of substance use-related deaths.
Applications for the funds are due from the States and territories by February 17, 2017. For detailed information on how to apply for the grant please go to: http://www.samhsa.gov/grants/grant-announcements/ti-17-014
For further information about SAMHSA and its programs to address the opioid epidemic please go to: http://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment/about