HHS 2019 SOR grants will total $1.4 billion

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https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2019/03/20/hhs-releases-additional-487-million-to-states-territories-to-expand-access-to-effective-opioid-treatment.html

An honest and rational question to ask at this stage in the war on opiates is. Where is the research funding into treatments for chronic pain? The NIH has an annual budget of around $37 Billion for medicine, yet the grants awarded for research into chronic pain get roughly $200 Million a year. Consequently when the CDC published its 2016 Guidelines for Chronic Pain they admitted the research for chronic pain was inconclusive and understandably so given this fact. So what did the CDC use in backing up their guidelines, research on acute pain and the treatment of opiate naive patients.

With this continued travesty chronic pain patients are treated as though they are either drug addicts or opiate native patients, completely disregarding the known issues such as body mass difference, tolerance and of course the long term changes in Neuroplasticity which occur.

Straining at gnats, government agency spare no effort at reminding us of the crisis, it’s risks and outcomes, but to date, little if any effort is put into supporting chronic pain patients except to argue the continued deadly practice of tapering and terminating opiates in treating chronic pain.

Until there is appropriate research for chronic pain, government agencies, healthcare professional and public health are making, at best, a poorly educated guess on the safety and efficacy of treating chronic pain with opiates. 

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Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released an additional $487 million to supplement first-year funding through its State Opioid Response (SOR) grant program. The awards to states and territories are part of HHS’s Five-Point Opioid Strategy and the Trump administration’s tireless drive to combat the opioid crisis.

Together with the $933 million in second-year, continuation awards to be provided under this program later this year, the total amount of SOR grants to states and territories this year will total more than $1.4 billion.

This funding will expand access to treatment that works, especially to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) with appropriate social supports.

“One year ago this week, President Trump launched his national opioid initiative, which called for expanding access to compassionate, evidence-based treatment, including MAT. This week’s funding awards to states were possible because of legislation Congress passed and President Trump signed since then,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “Our strategy is beginning to produce results, thanks to so many Americans working on the ground, in their own communities, to turn the tide on this crisis.”

The State Opioid Response grants administered by HHS’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) aim to address the opioid crisis by increasing access to MAT using the three Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved medications for the treatment of opioid use disorder, reducing unmet treatment need, and reducing opioid overdose-related deaths through the provision of prevention, treatment and recovery activities for opioid use disorder.

“Strategies such as employing psychosocial supports, community recovery services and MAT using medicines approved by the FDA constitute the gold standard of treatment for opioid use disorders,” said Dr. Elinore F. McCance-Katz, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use. 

Last summer, SAMHSA announced the first year of SOR funding. States and territories received funding based on a formula, with a 15 percent set-aside for the 10 states with the highest mortality rates related to drug overdose deaths.

Other funding, including $50 million for tribal communities under the Tribal Opioid Response exit disclaimer icon (TOR) grant program, has been awarded separately. These programs are built from the foundations laid in the $1 billion provided to states and territories through SAMHSA’s Opioid State Targeted Response (STR) program. SAMHSA has complemented the work of the STR program with a national center of excellence that provides technical assistance and training to leverage local subject matter experts at the community level to sharpen treatment access and delivery.

SAMHSA also operates a 24/7, national Helpline that people can call to find treatment referral resources for mental health or substance use disorders: 800-662-HELP (4357). People can visit https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/ to locate those resources, as well.

To learn more about SAMHSA-supported resources, please visit SAMHSA’s Prescription Drug Misuse and Abuse page.

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Individual grantee awards 2nd Quarter

Grantee Supplement Amounts
Alabama $7,174,439
Alaska $2,102,524
American Samoa $130,500
Arizona $10,580,576
Arkansas $2,699,458
California $36,457,252
Colorado $7,878,627
Connecticut $5,809,710
Delaware $6,574,372
District of Columbia $11,028,183
Federated States of Micronesia $130,500
Florida $26,129,676
Georgia $10,378,266
Guam $130,500
Hawaii $2,107,130
Idaho $2,146,028
Illinois $15,132,452
Indiana $9,472,850
Iowa $2,306,209
Kansas $2,112,683
Kentucky $16,431,436
Louisiana $6,128,230
Maine $2,308,700
Maryland $17,314,430
Massachusetts $18,729,196
Michigan $14,571,442
Minnesota $4,630,613
Mississippi $3,985,560
Missouri $9,586,028
Montana $2,103,853
Nebraska $1,000,000
Nevada $3,768,628
New Hampshire $11,996,921
New Jersey $11,257,470
New Mexico $2,770,397
New York $19,226,204
North Carolina $12,023,391
North Dakota $2,098,462
Northern Mariana Islands $130,500
Ohio $29,122,692
Oklahoma $3,993,464
Oregon $4,109,241
Pennsylvania $29,194,799
Rhode Island $6,574,635
South Carolina $7,440,757
South Dakota $2,098,099
Tennessee $9,679,492
Texas $24,131,586
Utah $4,154,404
Vermont $2,098,908
Virgin Islands $130,500
Virginia $8,252,814
Washington $11,261,155
West Virginia $14,630,361
Wisconsin $6,253,212
Wyoming $0 (state declined)
 TOTAL $483,669,515
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