Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, M.D., today announced the availability of over $70 million over multiple years to help communities and healthcare providers prevent opioid overdose deaths and provide treatment for opioid use disorder, of which $28 million will be dedicated for medication-assisted treatment (MAT).
“Putting an end to the opioid crisis ravaging our country is a top priority for President Trump and all of us at the Department of Health and Human Services,” said HHS Secretary Tom Price. “We are committed to bringing everything the federal government has to bear on this health crisis. Building partnerships and providing resources to state and local governments as well as non-government organizations are absolutely critical to this effort. The purpose of these grants is to empower the heroes in this fight—the men and women on the forefront of supporting prevention, treatment, and recovery initiatives in their communities.”
Opioid overdoses claimed more than 33,000 lives in 2015, but preventive actions, treatment for addiction, and proper response to overdoses can help. Money from two grant funding opportunities, recently authorized by the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), will expand access to lifesaving overdose reversal medications and train healthcare providers to refer patients to appropriate follow-up drug treatment; funds from a third grant funding opportunity will provide for medication-assisted treatment of opioid use disorders.
The announcement followed a separate award of $485 million in grants in April 2017—provided by the 21st Century Cures Act— to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, four U.S. territories, and the free associated states of Palau and Micronesia for opioid abuse prevention, treatment, and recovery. Administered through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), these funds will be made available through the following three grants:
- Medication-Assisted Treatment and Prescription Drugs Opioid Addiction: Up to $28 million to 5 grantees to increase access of medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder. Medication-assisted treatment combines behavioral therapy and FDA-approved medication.
- First Responders: Up to $41.7 million over 4 years available to approximately 30 grantees to train and provide resources for first responders and members of other key community sectors on carrying and administering an FDA approved product for emergency treatment of known or suspected opioid overdose.
- Improving Access to Overdose Treatment: Up to $1 million over 5 years to one grantee to expand availability to overdose reversal medications in healthcare settings and to establish protocols to connect patients who have experienced a drug overdose with appropriate treatment.
“The grants we announce today clearly demonstrate our efforts to meet the opioid crisis with every tool at our disposal,” said SAMHSA Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary Kana Enomoto. “The evidence-based training, medication, and behavioral therapies provided here will save lives and help people with addictions start a path toward reaching their potential.”
Additionally, on May 4, SAMHSA released two other Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act-related funding opportunities. These funding opportunities will be open through July 3, 2017:
- State Pilot Grant Program for Treatment for Pregnant and Postpartum Women: Up to $3.3 million to support a range of family-based services for pregnant and postpartum women with substance use disorder.
- Building Communities of Recovery: Up to $2.6 million to mobilize resources within and outside of the recovery community to increase the prevalence and quality of long-term recovery support from substance abuse and addiction.
The Trump Administration and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price have identified the opioid crisis as one of the top priorities for improving the health of the American people. HHS has outlined five specific strategies to combat the ongoing opioid crisis: strengthening public health surveillance, advancing the practice of pain management, improving access to treatment and recovery services, targeting availability and distribution of overdose-reversing drugs, and supporting cutting-edge research. With the completion of the fiscal year 2017 spending package passed by Congress, HHS moved quickly to announce these funding opportunities which are critical to improving access to treatment and recovery services as well as targeting availability and distribution of overdose-reversing drugs.