HHS announces funding for substance use treatment and prevention programs; grants to focus on increasing access to medication-assisted treatment for people battling opioid use disorder

The Department of Health and Human Services, through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration announces 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. By reducing barriers to accessing the most effective, evidenced-based treatments, this funding reflects the priorities of HHS’ Overdose Prevention Strategy, as well as its new initiative to strengthen the nation’s mental health and crisis care systems.

“Every five minutes someone in our nation dies from an overdose,” said Secretary Xavier Becerra. “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, evidenced-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.”

Following President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address earlier this month, HHS kicked off a National Tour to Strengthen Mental Health in an effort to hear directly from Americans across the country about the challenges they’re facing and engage with local leaders to strengthen the mental health and crisis care systems in our communities. This funding announcement is part of this new initiative, which is focused on three aspects of the crisis Americans are facing: mental health, suicide and substance use.

“This funding will enhance efforts underway throughout our nation to get help to Americans who need it,” said Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, Ph.D., HHS Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use and the leader of SAMHSA. “Expanding access to evidence-based treatments and supports for individuals struggling with opioid use disorder has never been more critical. Strengthening the nation’s prescribing guidelines to prevent misuse is equally critical.”

The two grant programs are: 
The Strategic Prevention Framework for Prescription Drugs grant program provides funds for state agencies, territories, and tribal entities that have completed a Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant plan or a similar state plan to target prescription drug misuse. The grant program will raise awareness about the dangers of sharing medications, fake or counterfeit pills sold online, and over prescribing. The grant will fund a total of $3 million over five years for up to six grantees.

The Medication-Assisted Treatment – Prescription Drug and Opioid Addiction grant program provides resources to help expand and enhance access to Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (. It will help increase the number of individuals with Opioid Use Disorder receiving MOUD and decrease illicit opioid use and prescription opioid misuse. The grant will fund a total of $22.6 million over five years for up to 30 grantees. No less than $11 million will be awarded to Native American tribes, tribal organizations, or consortia.

Anyone seeking treatment options for substance misuse should call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at (800) 662-HELP (4357) or visit findtreatment.gov.

More information on the National Tour to Strengthen Mental Health is available at https://HHS.gov/HHSTour.