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SAMHSA distributes $11 million in grants to train first responders, community groups to prevent overdoses

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The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is announcing the distribution of 13 grants totaling $11 million to reduce the number of prescription drug/opioid overdose-related deaths and adverse events by training first responders and other key community groups.

The Grants to Prevent Prescription Drug/Opioid Overdose-Related Deaths (PDO) will fund training to prevent prescription drug/opioid overdose-related deaths, as well as secondary prevention strategies, including the purchase and distribution of naloxone, a medication to prevent overdose by opioids, to first responders.

“The more SAMHSA does to equip communities across the country to prevent fatal overdoses, the more opportunities our loved ones will have to pursue treatments for substance use disorders and experience long-term recovery,” said Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon, Ph.D., the Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use and leader of SAMHSA. “This is a need that preceded the COVID-19 pandemic and has only grown more urgent over the course of the past 18 months,” said Assistant Secretary Delphin-Rittmon.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for the 12-month period ending December 2020, there were 92,183 reported fatal overdoses. The corresponding 12-month period for the preceding year saw 71,130 overdose deaths.

Thirteen grantees will receive up to $850,000 per year over five years – today’s distribution was for the first year – for a total of approximately $55.2 million, subject to availability of funds and grantee performance. See a full list of PDO grant recipients. People who need to find substance use disorder treatment options near them should visit or call 800-662-HELP (4357).

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The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA’s mission is to lead public health and service delivery efforts that promote mental health, prevent substance misuse, and provide treatments and supports to foster recovery while ensuring equitable access and better outcomes.

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