HHS Awards $53 Million to Help Address Opioid Epidemic

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced $53 million in funding to 44 States, four tribes and the District of Columbia to improve access to treatment for opioid use disorders, reduce opioid related deaths, and strengthen drug misuse prevention efforts.

In addition, funding will also support improved data collection and analysis around opioid misuse and overdose as well as better tracking of fatal and nonfatal opioid-involved overdoses, according to a news release.

“The epidemic of opioid use disorders involving the non-medical use of prescription opioid pain relievers and the use of heroin has had a devastating impact on individuals, families and communities across our nation,” said Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Principal Deputy Administrator Kana Enomoto. “These grants will help address the key elements of the opioid crisis by promoting effective prevention efforts, preventing overdose deaths and helping ensure that people with opioid use disorders are able to receive vital treatment and recovery support services.”

Administered by SAMHSA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the funding supports six programs.

The Medication-Assisted Treatment Prescription Drug Opioid Addiction Grants will provide up to $11 million to 11 states to expand access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) services for persons with opioid use disorder. This program targets states identified as having the highest rates of primary treatment admissions for heroin and prescription opioids per capita, and prioritizes those states with the most dramatic recent increases for heroin and opioids. Awardees are Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Rhode Island. (SAMHSA)

The Prescription Drug Opioid Overdose Prevention Grants will provide up to $11 million to 12 states to reduce opioid overdose-related deaths. Funding will support training on prevention of opioid overdose-related deaths as well as the purchase and distribution of naloxone to first responders. Awardees are Alaska, Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. (SAMHSA)

The Strategic Prevention Framework Partnerships for Prescription Drugs Grants provide $9.3 million to 21 states and four tribes to strengthen drug misuse prevention efforts. The grant program provides an opportunity for states, U.S. territories, Pacific jurisdictions, and tribal entities that have completed a Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant to target the priority issue of prescription drug misuse. The program is designed to raise awareness about the dangers of sharing medications and work to address the risks of overprescribing. The program also seeks to raise community awareness and bring prescription drug misuse prevention activities and education to schools, communities, parents, prescribers, and their patients. Awardees are Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin as well as Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, Cherokee Nation, Southern Plains Tribal Health Board, and the Nooksack Indian Tribe. (SAMHSA)

“States are on the frontline of preventing prescription opioid overdoses—it is critical that state health departments have the support they need to combat the epidemic,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH. “States can use these funds to develop, implement, and evaluate programs that save lives.”

The Prescription Drug Overdose: Prevention for States program provides up to $11.5 million in supplemental funding to 14 states. This supplemental funding will support the ongoing work of awardees, allowing awardees to address issues such as high overdose death rates in tribal communities and improve toxicology and drug screening. States can use this funding to enhance prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs), further prevention efforts, and execute and evaluate strategies to improve safe prescribing practices. Awardees are California, Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. (CDC)

The Prescription Drug Overdose: Data-Driven Prevention Initiative (DDPI) will award $6 million to 13 states and DC to advance and evaluate state-level prevention activities to address opioid misuse and overdose.

That includes enhancing their ability to:

  • Improve data collection and analysis around opioid misuse and overdose;
  • Develop strategies that impact behaviors driving prescription opioid misuse and dependence; and
  • Work with communities to develop more comprehensive opioid overdose prevention programs.

Awardees are Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, South Dakota, and Washington, D.C. (CDC)

The Enhanced State Surveillance of Opioid-Involved Morbidity and Mortality program is awarding $4.27 million in funds to 12 states to better track fatal and nonfatal opioid-involved overdoses.

States will use the funding to:

  • Increase the timeliness of reporting nonfatal and fatal opioid overdose and associated risk factors;
  • Disseminate surveillance findings to key stakeholders working to prevent opioid-involved overdoses; and
  • Share data with CDC to support improved multi-state surveillance of and response to opioid-involved overdoses.
  • Awardees are Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. (CDC)
  • These awards contribute to a total of $52.5 million awarded by CDC for Prescription Drug Overdose and opioids activities in FY 2016.

The funding announced is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Opioid Initiative, which was launched in March 2015 and 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 crisis. But additional funding is necessary to ensure that every American who wants to get treatment for opioid use disorder will have access. Under the President’s FY 2017 Budget proposal, states would be eligible for up to $920 million over two years to expand access to treatment. At this time, Congress has not funded the budget proposal. See here for a state by state breakdown of the President’s budget and, if fully funded, the impact it would have on states’ ability to further expand access to treatment.

 

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