Federal Government Awards $53 Million in Grants to Help States Fight Opioid Epidemic

Today the Department of Health and Human Services announced that 44 states and the District of Columbia, as well as four tribes, will receive one or more grants to fight the growing opioid epidemic from a total of $53 million awarded.

To put the extent of the problem in perspective, many advocates often cite the fact that the numbers of persons dying from drug overdoses (more than half of which are opioids, either prescription or heroin) now exceeds deaths from vehicle crashes.

“These grants will help address the key elements of the opioid crisis by promoting effective prevention efforts, preventing overdose deaths and helping ensure that people with opioid use disorders are able to receive vital treatment and recovery support services,” said Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Principal Deputy Administrator Kana Enomoto in the announcement.

Six program awards were announced:

  • The Medication-Assisted Treatment Prescription Drug Opioid Addiction Grants will provide up to $11 million to 11 states to expand access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) services for persons with opioid use disorder. This program targets states identified as having the highest rates of primary treatment admissions for heroin and prescription opioids per capita, and prioritizes those states with the most dramatic recent increases for heroin and opioids. 
  • The Prescription Drug Opioid Overdose Prevention Grants will provide up to $11 million to 12 states to reduce opioid overdose-related deaths. Funding will support training on prevention of opioid overdose-related deaths as well as the purchase and distribution of naloxone to first responders.
  • The Strategic Prevention Framework Partnerships for Prescription Drugs Grants provide up to $9 million to 21 states and four tribes to strengthen drug misuse prevention efforts. The program is designed to raise awareness about the dangers of sharing medications and work to address the risks of overprescribing. The program also seeks to raise community awareness and bring prescription drug misuse prevention activities and education to schools, communities, parents, prescribers, and their patients.
  • The Prescription Drug Overdose: Prevention for States program provides up to $11.5 million in supplemental funding to 14 states. This supplemental funding will support the ongoing work of awardees, allowing awardees to address issues such as high overdose death rates in tribal communities and improve toxicology and drug screening. States can use this funding to enhance prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs), further prevention efforts, and execute and evaluate strategies to improve safe prescribing practices. 
  • The Prescription Drug Overdose: Data-Driven Prevention Initiative (DDPI) will award $6 million to 13 states and DC to advance and evaluate state-level prevention activities to address opioid misuse and overdose.
  • The Enhanced State Surveillance of Opioid-Involved Morbidity and Mortality program is awarding $4.27 million in funds to 12 states to better track fatal and nonfatal opioid-involved overdoses. States will use the funding to increase the timeliness of reporting nonfatal and fatal opioid overdose and associated risk factors and disseminate surveillance findings to key stakeholders working to prevent opioid-involved overdoses.

The map below shows which states were awarded grants. Hover over the map to see the specific grant awards to individual states.