SAMHSA awards $123 million to combat overdose epidemic

Sept. 14, 2021

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is awarding more than $123 million in funding through six grant programs to provide multifaceted support to communities and health care providers as the Nation continues to combat the overdose epidemic.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the 12 months ending January 2021 recorded more than 94,000 fatal overdoses, an almost 31% increase over those recorded in the 12 months ending January 2020.

“This funding will strengthen the full continuum of care for those battling addiction and enhance health care providers’ depth of knowledge and best practices,” said Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon, PhD, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use and the leader of SAMHSA.

SAMHSA is awarding funding throughout for the following grant programs:

·        Medication Assisted Treatment for Prescription Drug and Opioid Addiction (MAT-PDOA) grant program expands and enhances communities’ access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) services for people who have opioid use disorder (OUD). The five-year program seeks to increase the number of Americans receiving MAT and decrease their illicit opioid use and/or prescription misuse by their six-month follow-ups. Awards totaling $71.3 million are headed to 127 MAT-PDOA grantees, including 10 awards to tribal entities, which will receive up to $331.2 million over five years.

·         The TOR program addresses the opioid crisis in tribal communities by increasing access to culturally appropriate and evidence-based treatment, including MAT. In addition to focusing on OUD-related needs, grant recipients also address stimulant misuse and use disorders, focusing on such substances as cocaine and methamphetamine. Two-year funding awards totaling $19.5 million are headed to 40 TOR grantees.

·         The SBIRT program guides clinicians in the practice of screening for SUD; providing needed, brief intervention; and referring children, adolescents, and/or adults in primary care and community health settings to treatment services. Funding awards totaling $10.6 million are headed to 11 SBIRT grantees, who will receive up to $53.6 million over five years.

·         The SPF Rx program provides funding to states, territories, and some tribal entities to raise community awareness and bring prescription drug misuse prevention activities and education to schools, communities, parents, prescribers, and their patients.  The program is designed to raise awareness about the dangers of sharing medications and work with pharmaceutical and medical communities on the risks of overprescribing to young adults. Funding awards totaling $9.9 million are headed to 21 SPF Rx grantees, who will receive up to $40.3 million over five years.

·         The FR-CARA program encourages first responders and members of other key community sectors to administer an emergency medication to reverse the effects of a known or suspected opioid overdose. Grantees will train and provide resources to first responders and other community members at the state, tribal, and local governmental levels in safely implementing these lifesaving procedures. The grant recipients will also establish protocols for referring at-risk individuals to appropriate treatment and recovery support services. Funding awards totaling $8.2 million are headed to 16 FR-CARA grantees, who will receive up to $32.9 million over four years.

·         SAMHSA’s Providers Clinical Support System (PCSS) is a national training and clinical mentoring project developed in response to the prescription opioid misuse epidemic. PCSS trains health professionals to provide effective, evidence-based treatments to patients with OUD in primary care, psychiatric care, substance use disorder treatment, and pain management settings. The PCSS-Universities grant will expand or enhance access to MAT services at the community level by investing in the Nation’s medical workforce educational system. This grant program funds education and training in MAT for students pursuing careers in the medical, physician assistant, and nurse practitioner fields. Funding awards totaling $3.9 million are headed to 27 PCSS-Universities grantees, who will receive up to $11.9 million over three years.

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