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In a push to prevent drug overdoses, the federal government is providing more than $1.6 billion in investments for communities across the country to address the addiction and overdose crisis. Funds are awarded by the US Department of Health and Human Services through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

Investments made through SAMHSA’s State Opioid Response (SOR) and Tribal Opioid Response (TOR) grant programs, as well as HRSA’s Rural Community Opioid Response programs, are aimed at helping communities seek to leverage a range of tools from prevention to harm reduction. , to treatment and recovery supports for people in need.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 107,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2021, an increase of more than 15% from 2020.

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said the agency’s strategy to end the overdose crisis is to provide access to evidence-based, person-centered care.

“Through these grants, we are investing in hope,” he said.


Investments include four types of funding for states and communities.

The first is SAMHSA’s SOR grant program. SOR provides formulary funding to states and territories to increase access to FDA-approved medications for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD) and to support services for prevention, harm reduction, treatment and recovery support for TOU and other co-occurring substance use disorders (SUDs). ). The program also supports ongoing care for stimulant misuse and use disorders, including those involving cocaine and methamphetamine.

SOR helps reduce overdose deaths and close the treatment needs gap in the United States by giving states and territories flexibility to fund evidence-based practices and supports in different settings to meet local community needs.

In addition to implementing service delivery models that enable the full spectrum of treatment and recovery support services, as well as prevention, education and harm reduction services, SOR provides funds for states and territories to purchase and distribute naloxone to increase the availability and accessibility of the medicine. .

The SOR grant amounts to $1,439,500,000 to be awarded to 58 states and territories. Funding includes a reserve for states with the highest OUD-related death rates.

And then there’s SAMHSA’s TOR Grant Program TOR addresses the overdose crisis in tribal communities by increasing access to FDA-approved medications for the treatment of opioid misuse and supporting prevention services, reducing harm, treatment and recovery support for opiate and stimulant misuse related to mental and substance use conditions.

CDC data also shows that the rate of drug overdose deaths among Native Americans and Alaska Natives is 75 percent higher than the national average. TOR supports the American Indian and Alaska Native (CWD) Cultural Wisdom Statement, which elevates the importance of tribal identities, culture, spiritual beliefs, and practices to enhance well-being.

TOR recipients are encouraged to incorporate traditional approaches into their grantmaking activities. The TOR grant totals $54,976,150 and is awarded to 102 tribal entities.

In addition, $16.6 million in related funding will go to the SOR/TOR technical assistance program, whose national network of consultants provides free educational resources and training to states, communities, and individuals in prevention services, crime reduction harm, treatment and recovery for OUD and SUD.

Another $6.5 million will go to Regional Rural Opioid Technical Assistance Centers, which develop and disseminate training and technical assistance for rural communities to address opioid issues affecting those communities.

Finally, HRSA announced investments of more than $104 million to expand substance use treatment and prevention services, including OUD medications, in rural communities across the country as part of its Program of Opioid Response in Rural Communities, a multi-year initiative aimed at reducing substance use disorder morbidity and mortality in rural Americans.


In President Biden’s first State of the Union, he called addressing the opioid crisis and overdose epidemic a top priority of his administration, and earlier this year he released his National Drug Control Strategy to expand access to treatment for addiction and overdose and to disrupt drug trafficking. .

HHS invested nearly $15 million in June in 29 rural community organizations to address psychostimulant misuse and related overdose deaths. Overdose deaths from psychostimulant drugs, including methamphetamine, rose from 547 in 1999 to 23,837 in 2020, an increase exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

With the investment, HHS has provided a total of more than $400 million for the Rural Community Opioid Response Program (RCORP) initiative, HRSA said. This is a multi-year initiative aimed at reducing morbidity and mortality from substance use, including opioid use, in high-risk rural communities.

Through SAMHSA, HHS also recently announced $55 million in funding for its Tribal Opioid Response grant program that addresses the overdose crisis in tribal communities.

Both programs address opioid and stimulant misuse, as reflected in the President’s proposed FY 2023 budget for HHS on drug-related programs and initiatives that totaled $21.1 billion . The funding helps support the National Drug Control Strategy.

Last month, the White House released the administration’s plan to address methamphetamine and its impact on public health and safety.


“All Americans deserve access to culturally sensitive prevention, treatment and recovery services and supports,” said Dr. Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon, HHS Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use and leader of SAMHSA. “SAMHSA remains committed to fighting overdose and reminding the nation that there is hope: treatment is effective and recovery is possible.”

Twitter: @JELagasse
Email the writer: jeff.lagasse@himssmedia.com

Source: Feds award $1.6 billion in funds to address overdose and addiction crises in communities