Biden Administration Announces $1.5 Billion Funding Opportunity for State Opioid Response Grant Program

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), recently announced a State Opioid Response (SOR) grant funding opportunity that will provide nearly $1.5 billion to states and territories to help address the Nation’s opioid addiction and overdose epidemic. In President Biden’s State of the Union, he named beating the opioids epidemic as a pillar of his Unity Agenda. HHS states its announcement is a critical step forward in that work, and the SOR program, along with the Tribal Opioid Response grant funding opportunity announced recently, are critical tools in President Biden’s inaugural National Drug Control Strategy released last month and the Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Overdose Prevention Strategy.

The SOR grant program provides formula funding to states and territories for increasing access to FDA-approved medications for the treatment of Opioid Use Disorder (OUD), and for supporting prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery support services for OUD and other concurrent substance use disorders (SUD). The SOR program also supports care for stimulant misuse and use disorders, including for cocaine and methamphetamine. The SOR program helps reduce overdose deaths and close the gap in treatment needs across America by giving states and territories flexibility in funding evidence-based practices and supports across different settings to meet local community needs.

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“The State Opioid Response grant program delivers crucial aid to states and territories to help address in the crisis of overdose and death in our nation’s communities,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “And, in line with HHS’ Overdose Prevention Strategy, this funding helps facilitate state- and territory-level efforts to ensure the full continuum of prevention, harm reduction, treatment and long-term recovery supports are in place and accessible to all who need them.”

“At this time, less than 1 out of 10 people in the United States who need addiction care get it. That is why, President Biden released a National Drug Control Strategy to beat the overdose epidemic by going after its drivers: untreated addiction and drug trafficking,”said Dr. Rahul Gupta, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).“[We] are delivering on key parts of our Strategy through this new funding, which will expand access to treatment for substance use disorder and prevent overdoses, while we also work to reduce the supply of illicit drugs in our communities and dismantle drug trafficking.”

“SAMHSA will continue supporting our nation’s states and territories as they confront the overdose crisis that has brought tragedy to so many American families and communities,” said HHS Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon, Ph.D., and the leader of SAMHSA. “The State Opioid Response grant program delivers funding and guidance needed for states and territories to increase efforts to provide accessible, lifesaving medications and services in the communities where people most need them.”

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HHS states that its announcement is a critical step forward on President Biden’s Unity Agenda, which he outlined in his first State of the Union address to make progress on in areas where historically members of both parties can come together and deliver results for the American people, including beating the opioid epidemic, tackling the mental health crisis, ending cancer as we know it and supporting veterans.

The SOR program provides states and territories with the funding to develop systems and networks of care that save and improve lives of individuals, families, and communities devastated by the overdose crisis. Overdose deaths have accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic, with data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimating that more than 105,000 people died from overdose in the 12 months ending in October 2021, the highest number ever recorded in a 12-month period. 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, states and territories will be asked to develop naloxone distribution and saturation plans that will increase availably and accessibility of this lifesaving overdose-reversal medication.

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The SOR grant will fund up to $1,439,500,000 to be awarded in fiscal year 2022 to 59 states and territories. This funding includes a set-aside for the states with the highest OUD-related mortality rates.

People searching for treatment for substance use issues can find options by visiting findtreatment.gov or by calling SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

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