Future of State Opioid Crisis Grants in Question

The future of grants given to states for opioid addiction prevention, treatment and recovery is in question, The New York Times reports.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) administers the $3.3 billion opioid crisis grant program, which the Trump administration and Congress have allotted to states since 2017. Neither Trump nor his administration’s top health officials have publicly talked about extending the funding beyond next year. SAMHSA Director Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz told the newspaper, “If I could, I certainly would” continue the funding beyond next year.

Many addiction experts say they are concerned the focus on opioid addiction is waning, as attention shifts to other problems such as the high cost of prescription drugs.
The grants have been especially important in states that did not expand free Medicaid coverage to low-income adults under the Affordable Care Act, which guarantees addiction treatment as an “essential benefit.” Many of these states have been greatly impacted by the opioid crisis, and the grants are their chief source of treatment funding.

Heroin & the Opioid Epidemic: From Understanding to Action

Heroin and other opioids are ravaging communities across America. Heroin-related deaths increased by more than five times between 2010 and 2017, and drug deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are seeing a sharp rise as well.