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Programs to combat opioid crisis

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration works to prevent opioid misuse

Combatting the nation’s opioid crisis is one of the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s top priorities. 

The prevention of opioid misuse is a part of SAMHSA’s Strategic Initiative to Prevent Substance Abuse and Mental Illness.

The following is a list of programs:

  • Strategic Prevention Framework Partnerships for Success State and Tribal Initiative Grants (SPF-PFS):  Provides funding to eligible states, territories, and tribal entities to address two of the nation’s top substance use prevention priorities:  1) underage drinking among persons aged 12 to 20; and 2) prescription drug misuse and abuse among persons aged 12 to 25.
  • Drug Free Communities (DFC) Support Program Grants:  This ONDCP program is a collaborative effort between ONDCP and SAMHSA.  It aims to establish and strengthen collaboration among communities; public and private non-profit agencies; and federal, state, local, and tribal governments to support the efforts of community coalitions working to prevent and reduce substance use among youth. Another aim is to reduce substance use among youth and over time, reduce substance abuse among adults by addressing the factors in a community that increase the risk of substance abuse and promoting the factors that minimize the risk of substance use.
  • Strategic Prevention Framework for Prescription Drugs (SPF Rx):  This program is designed to raise awareness about the dangers of sharing medications and work with pharmaceutical and medical communities on the risks of overprescribing to young adults. SPF Rx will also raise community awareness and bring prescription drug abuse prevention activities and education to schools, communities, parents, prescribers, and their patients.  In addition, SAMHSA will track reductions in opioid overdoses and the incorporation of Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) data into needs assessments and strategic plans as indicators of the program’s success.
  • State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grants (Opioid STR):  This program aims to address the opioid crisis by increasing access to treatment, reducing unmet treatment need, and reducing opioid overdose related deaths through the provision of prevention, treatment and recovery activities for opioid use disorder (OUD) (including prescription opioids as well as illicit drugs such as heroin).

To complete the list, SAMHSA also has grants related to the reversal of opioid overdoses:

  • Grants to Prevent Prescription Drug/Opioid Overdose-Related Deaths (PDO):  The purpose of this program is to reduce the number of opioid related overdose deaths and adverse events among individuals 18 years of age and older through the use of SAMHSA’s Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit.  The program will educate key community sectors and implement secondary prevention strategies such as the distribution of naloxone.
  • First Responders – Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act Cooperative Agreement (FR-CARA):  Grantees will train and provide resources to first responders and members of other key community sectors at the state, tribal, and local governmental levels on carrying and administering a drug or device approved or cleared under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act for emergency treatment of known or suspected opioid overdose.
  • Improving Access to Overdose Treatment (OD Treatment Access):  Will be awarded to a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), Opioid Treatment Program, or practitioner who has a waiver to prescribe buprenorphine to expand access to FDA-approved drugs or devices for emergency treatment of known or suspected opioid overdose. 

Source: Jennifer Fan, public health advisor at the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration