The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released the next round of State Opioid Response (SOR) grant funding, amounting to nearly $1.5 billion spread over two years.
SOR funding increases access to FDA-approved medications treating Opioid Use Disorder (OUD), and supports prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery support services for OUD and other substance use disorders (SUD). The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra emphasized the need for state and local partnerships to combat overdoses in a press release:
‘The State Opioid Response grant program delivers crucial aid to states and territories to help address in the crisis of overdose and death in our nation’s communities,’ said HHS Secretary Becerra. ‘And, in line with HHS’ Overdose Prevention Strategy, this funding helps facilitate state- and territory-level efforts to ensure the full continuum of prevention, harm reduction, treatment and long-term recovery supports are in place and accessible to all who need them.’
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), overdose deaths have accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 105,000 people having died from an overdose in the 12 months ending in October 2021- the highest number ever recorded in a similar period. Moreover, the Maryland Department of Health recorded the highest number of OUD- and SUD-related deaths in Maryland’s history during this same period. Likewise, as the National Association of Counties mentioned, “As key administrators of behavioral health services, counties will continue to play an integral role in addressing the nation’s opioid crisis.”
States have until Monday, July 18, 2022, to apply for funding. Up to $1,439,500,000 will be awarded in fiscal year 2022. This funding includes a set-aside for the states with the highest OUD-related mortality rates.