Texas Gets $46 Million to Fight Opioid Abuse
By David Doolittle

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The state of Texas has received more federal aid in the fight against opioid-use disorders.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration recently awarded the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) $46.2 million to expand treatment options and to increase access to medication-assisted treatment. 

“The complexity of the opioid crisis requires a multifaceted approach, and it is essential that Texas continue to develop and improve prevention and treatment measures to address the issue. This award helps with that effort,” said Sonja Gaines, HHSC deputy executive commissioner for intellectual and developmental disability and behavioral health services.

Services under the grant will begin by Dec. 31 and will include:  

  • Development of opioid misuse prevention, medication-assisted treatment, and recovery support services; and
  • Implementation of models for full-spectrum treatment and recovery support services; community peer support, peer coaching, and recovery housing; and prevention and education services.  

The State Opioid Response grant will be used in addition to Texas Targeted Opioid Response funds awarded to the state in 2017. Those funds — $27.4 million annually for two years — have helped Texas expand capacity and access to opioid treatment centers, and increase training and technical assistance to health care professionals and prescribers in treating opioid use disorders.

In addition, the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) recently received $2.66 million to enhance the available data on opioid use in Texas, and to expand the prescriber network for medication-assisted treatment. The grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will improve DSHS’ ability to track opioid-related illnesses and other conditions being seen in emergency rooms around Texas.

Opioid-related overdose deaths have increased in Texas from a rate of 1.7 deaths per 100,000 people in 1999 to 4.9 per 100,000 in 2016, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Find more information on accessing behavioral health services in Texas at MentalHealthTX.org.


Last Updated On

October 12, 2018

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David Doolittle

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Dave Doolittle is editor of Texas Medicine and Texas Medicine Today. Dave grew up in Austin, where he attended culinary school as well as the University of Texas. He spent years covering Central Texas for the Austin American-Statesman newspaper. He is the father of two girls, a proud Longhorn, and an avid motorsports fan.

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