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HHS Awards $1B to Combat Opioid Epidemic

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) this week awarded $1 billion in grant funding to combat the opioid epidemic.

This funding supports initiatives under the agency’s Five-Point Opioid Strategy.

The funding was allocated by several HHS agencies:

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): SAMHSA awarded $930 million in state opioid response grants that aim to increase access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT). SAMHSA also awarded $90 million to other programming for states and communities to expand MAT access;
  • Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA): HRSA awarded $352 million to community health centers to increase access to substance use disorder and mental health services. The agency also awarded $18.5 million for workforce training. More than 120 rural organizations were awarded $25.5 million to increase access to services for rural populations; and
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): CDC awarded $155.5 million to support states and territories working to prevent opioid-related overdoses, deaths, and other negative outcomes. CDC also awarded $12 million to support tribal entities and is distributing $27 million to nine nongovernmental organizations to support state and territory staffing.

In addition to these grants, HHS has taken additional action in conjunction with Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week. The National Institutes of Health launched a funding opportunity targeted for communities hardest-hit by the epidemic. HHS also provided guidance on increasing access to MAT services using telemedicine.

America’s Essential Hospitals has established a resource page for the opioid epidemic. Visit this page for new and updated information.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at or 202.585.0127 with questions.

About the Author

Zina Gontscharow is a former senior policy analyst for America's Essential Hospitals.

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