The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is announcing awards in four grant programs devoted to combating the overdose epidemic on multiple fronts. The grant awards total nearly $11.3 million in additional funding to programs and support the President’s Unity Agenda focus on beating the nation’s opioid and overdose epidemic.
The grant awards facilitate ongoing efforts throughout the nation in prevention, treatment, recovery support and harm reduction – the pillars of the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) Overdose Prevention Strategy. The Overdose Prevention Strategy helps advance the Biden-Harris Administration’s National Drug Control Strategy, which delivers on the call to action in President Biden’s Unity Agenda for a whole-of-government approach to beat the overdose epidemic.
“These grant programs are receiving additional funding from SAMHSA for these crucial areas,” said Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon, the HHS Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, and the leader of SAMHSA. “With too many of our loved ones being lost to overdose and mired in substance use disorder (SUD), a multifaceted approach is needed to save lives and to help enable Americans to thrive in lives of recovery.”
The four grant programs are:
Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) – Nearly $6.9 million, seven additional awards going to new grantees in the West and East coasts, the Midwest, and the South – This program implements SBIRT services for children, adolescents, and/or adults in primary care and community health settings such as health centers, hospital systems and other settings, with a focus on screening for underage drinking, opioid use, and other substance use. This program is designed to expand or enhance the continuum of care for SUD services and to reduce alcohol and other drug consumption and its negative health impact, to reduce costly health care utilization, and to promote sustainability and the integration of behavioral health and primary care services.
Grants to Prevent Prescription Drug/Opioid Overdose-Related Deaths – $2.6 million, three additional awards to new grantees in New England, the Midwest, and the East Coast – This program seeks to reduce the number of prescription drug overdose-related deaths and adverse events among individuals 18 years of age and older by training first responders and other key community sectors on the prevention of prescription drug overdose-related deaths and implementing secondary prevention strategies, including the purchase and distribution of naloxone to first responders.
Target Capacity Expansion-Special Projects – $1.1 million, three additional awards to new grantees in the Southeastern and East Coast regions – This program implements strategies for the provision of SUD or co-occurring disorder (COD) harm reduction, treatment, and/or recovery support services to serve an under-resourced population or unmet need identified by the community. The grantees will provide evidence-based SUD or COD harm reduction, treatment, and/or recovery support services. The grants will assist recipients in addressing the specific challenges of increased SUD, and/or COD needs in their communities. These unique needs may comprise assisting under-resourced populations or geographic areas or identifying an area of focus that best serves the community. Examples of under-resourced populations include LGBTQ+ individuals using methamphetamine or other stimulants; individuals living in rural areas; or individuals with alcohol use disorder, among other populations. Examples of choosing to expand or enhance a specific area of focus include expansion of telehealth or peer recovery support services.
Provider's Clinical Support System-Universities – More than $725,000, three additional awards to new grantees in the Midwest and Mountain West – This program provides resources to graduate-level students in medical, physician assistant, nurse practitioner and other eligible nursing programs, certified registered nurse anesthetists, certified nurse midwives’ practices receive the theoretical knowledge and practical training required for them to treat opioid use disorders and prescribe medications for opioid use disorder in office-based settings upon graduation and receipt of licensure. In addition, this grant program is focused on the broader integration of substance use disorder (SUD) education into the medical and nursing curricula of the respective academic institution. Access to evidence-based treatment for SUD is one of the four pillars of the Health and Human Services Overdose Prevention Strategy.