$5.5 Million in New Federal Funding Available to Connecticut to Combat Opioid Crisis

Hartford, CT – The Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) today announced its intent to apply for $5.5 million from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to combat the prescription opioid and heroin crisis. The new funding is part of the 21st Century Cures Act signed by President Obama on December 13, 2016.

“Prescription opioid and heroin abuse continues to plague our state, taking the lives of those we love and gripping the lives of so many others,” said DMHAS Commissioner Miriam Delphin-Rittmon. “Connecticut has been successful in securing federal funds to help combat the opioid crisis so that we may support activities that promote prevention, treatment and recovery. We look forward to the opportunity to submit our application for funding to not only help people who are using these substances onto the path to recovery, but to prevent their use in the first place.”

The funding will help address the opioid crisis by providing support to states for increasing access to treatment, reducing unmet treatment need, and reducing opioid-related overdose deaths. Up to $970 million will be available to U.S. states and territories over the next two years. Connecticut is eligible for $5,500,157 of funding determined by a formula based on unmet need for opioid use disorder treatment and drug poisoning deaths.
These grants are the latest addition to a series of federally funded opioid initiatives in the state. Earlier this year, Connecticut was awarded nearly $5 million by SAMHSA for the prevention and treatment of prescription opioids and heroin misuse. More than $6 million in additional SAMHSA funds were also allocated this summer to eight Connecticut communities to prevent underage drinking and prescription drug abuse. Major parts of the state’s efforts also include expanding community-based efforts to prevent drug use before it begins, increasing access to life-saving overdose reversal medications, expanding access to treatment for those who need it and supporting those living in recovery.
The new funding also promotes the evidence-based public health approach outlined in the Surgeon General’s recent report, Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health. The report stresses the importance of the full range of services that will be funded through these grants – including getting vital treatment to people dealing with substance use disorders, and significantly reducing the number of substance use-related deaths.
Applications for the funds are due from the States and territories by February 17, 2017.