HHS Invests Nearly $115 Million to Combat the Opioid Crisis in Rural Communities

Opiod Epidemic

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded approximately $25 million to 80 award recipients across 36 states and two territories as part of the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP).

RCORP is a multi-year HRSA initiative to reduce morbidity and mortality of substance use disorder (SUD) and opioid use disorder (OUD) in high-risk rural communities. Today’s announcement builds upon HRSA’s RCORP awards made this August, reflecting a total fiscal year 2020 investment of nearly $115 million.

“The Trump Administration continues to provide historic levels of support for Americans with substance use disorders, especially those in rural areas, because the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t put a pause on our country’s opioid crisis,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar.

“These grants are part of the Rural Action Plan that HHS launched in response to President Trump’s Executive Order on rural health, which lays out a path forward to transform and improve rural healthcare in tangible ways.”

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HRSA’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) awarded nearly $15 million to 30 award recipients through the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (RCORP-NAS).

Each recipient will receive up to $500,000 over three-years to reduce the incidence and impact of neonatal abstinence syndrome in rural communities by improving systems of care, family supports, and social determinants of health.

In addition, through the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Planning (RCORP-Planning), $10 million is being awarded to 50 award recipients to strengthen and expand the capacity of rural communities to provide SUD/OUD prevention, treatment, and recovery services to high-risk populations.

Award recipients will use the funds to build partnerships and develop comprehensive plans to address SUD/OUD workforce and service delivery challenges in their communities.

“We are excited to celebrate these awards during National Recovery Month,” said HRSA Administrator Tom Engels. “RCORP-Planning will continue to help rural communities build the coalitions needed to fight opioid use disorder, and RCORP-NAS will provide needed funding to rural residents grappling with the opioid epidemic to help many people reach recovery.”

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Through the RCORP initiative, the funding will help rural communities address barriers to care and additional strains that COVID-19 has placed on both rural individuals with SUD and on rural organizations providing prevention, treatment, and recovery services.

For a list of today’s award recipients, visit HRSA’s RCORP-Planning and RCORP-NAS pages.

To learn about HRSA-supported resources, visit HRSA’s Opioid Crisis page.

For more information about the national opioid crisis, visit: https://www.hhs.gov/opioids/.

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