SAMHSA Announces Funding for Substance Use Treatment and Prevention Programs

March 17, 2022

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), has announced new funding for substance use treatment and prevention programs. The funding will come through two grant programs, totaling $25.6 million, that will expand access to medication assisted treatment for opioid use disorder and prevent the misuse of prescription drugs.

This funding aims to reduce barriers to the most effective, evidence-based treatments, and align with the priorities of HHS' Overdose Prevention Strategy, as well as its new initiative to strengthen the nation's mental health and crisis care systems.

The first of the two grant programs is the Strategic Prevention Framework for Prescription Drugs (SPF Rx). The purpose of the SPF Rx grant program is to provide resources to help prevent and address prescription drug misuse within a state or locality. The program is designed to raise awareness about the dangers of sharing medications, as well as the risks of fake or counterfeit pills purchased over social media or other unknown sources, and work with pharmaceutical and medical communities on the risks of overprescribing. Whether addressed at the state level or by an informed community-based organization, the SPF Rx program will raise community awareness and bring prescription substance misuse prevention activities and education to schools, communities, parents, prescribers, and their patients. In addition, grant recipients will be required to track reductions in opioid related overdoses and incorporate relevant prescription and overdose data into strategic planning and future programming.

SAMHSA anticipates awarding up to six grants of up to $500,000 per year per award, for up to five years.

The second of the two grant programs is the Medication-Assisted Treatment - Prescription Drug and Opioid Addiction (MAT-PDOA) program. The purpose of this program is to provide resources to help expand and enhance access to Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD). It is expected that this program will help to increase the number of individuals with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) receiving MOUD; and decrease illicit opioid use and prescription opioid misuse.

SAMHSA anticipates awarding up to 30 grants (up to 22 for tribal applicants) of up to $750,000 per year per award, for up to five years.

As quoted in the HHS news release announcing these programs, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said, "Every five minutes someone in our nation dies from an overdose . . . This is unacceptable. At HHS, we are committed to addressing the overdose crisis, and one of the ways we're doing this is by expanding access to medication-assisted treatment and other effective, evidence-based prevention and intervention strategies. We're also traveling the country to listen and learn about new and innovative ways HHS can support local communities in addressing mental health and substance use. Together, through our Overdose Prevention Strategy and National Tour to Strengthen Mental Health, we can change the way we address overdoses and save lives."

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