MDH Awards $50 Million to Combat Substance Abuse

The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) yesterday announced awards for more than $50 million in new grant funding to advance substance use disorder treatment, prevention, and recovery support initiatives in communities statewide through the State Opioid Response (SOR) II grant.

Made possible by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, SOR II includes more than $12 million in funding for new grant recipients.

“As we see opioid and other substance use-related deaths on the rise again in Maryland, we need to once again meet this crisis head-on,” said MDH Secretary Robert R. Neall. “This funding will help ensure access to local, life-saving, evidence-based treatment and programs that will help more Marylanders get onto the path to recovery.”

SOR II funding is effective through Sept. 29, 2022, and extends SOR I objectives by addressing stimulant use disorders — including cocaine and methamphetamines – in addition to opioid use disorders. SOR II funding will also help support new initiatives including:

  • Crisis stabilization for young adults and adolescents with an opioid use disorder
  • Training and capacity building through Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other higher education institutions to support students enrolled in behavioral health-related programs
  • Initiatives for Native Americans and tribes to provide culturally relevant and evidence-based community prevention efforts
  • Expanded residential substance use treatment programs for women with children
  • Developing a centralized crisis call center for 24/7 opioid and mental health crises
  • Baltimore City opioid treatment pilot program to improve medication adherence and safety using a smart pill electronic dispenser

According to a press release:

“In light of COVID-19 and the new challenges imposed upon all of us, these funds are coming at a critical time,” said MDH Behavioral Health Administration Deputy Secretary Dr. Aliya Jones. “Now is the time to concentrate on bringing proven treatments to more people.”

New SOR II grant allocations include:

  • Adolescent and young adult services expansion: $7,984,229
  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities workforce initiative:$1,045,400
  • Substance Use Disorder Workforce Expansion Fellowship: $1,061,863
  • Evidence-based initiatives to Native Americans and tribes: $500,000
  • Expansion of residential substance abuse treatment for women with children: $240,935
  • Centralized crisis call center (211): $1,132,400
  • Harford County crisis hotline: $327,500
  • Medication adherence technology including video and an electronic pill dispenser for take-home methadone (Baltimore City): $326,896
  • Bridge medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program (Kent County): $110,454

Maryland’s SOR I grant supported 27 initiatives from Sept. 30, 2018 to Sept. 29, 2020, including harm reduction, public awareness, crisis beds, 24/7 crisis walk-in stabilization centers, MAT in detention centers, safe stations, adult recovery residences and two recovery support services programs. The initiatives span 158 programs within all Maryland jurisdictions. Services provided through Aug. 31 include:

  • 48,636 individuals trained in the use of the overdose reversal drug naloxone
  • 112,609 doses of naloxone distributed
  • 62,203 individuals served in the areas of prevention, treatment and recovery
  • 315,402 individuals screened using the Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment model
  • 2,537 individuals started MAT
  • 2,970 individuals referred to MAT
  • 1,872 individuals referred to outpatient substance use disorder treatment
  • 5,277 individuals referred to American Society of Addiction Medicine substance use disorder residential treatment services

For more information about SOR II grants, visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website.