Massachusetts starts $1.5M grant program to fight opioid use disorder

Massachusetts starts $1.5M grant program to fight opioid use disorder

Massachusetts recently launched at $1.5 million grant program to promote equity among treatment programs for opioid use disorder.

The grant program will support organizations and their recovery programs that are based in or serve Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities. Eligible services include medication-assisted treatment, substance use counseling, peer recovery coaching, and abstinence.

Awardees will receive up to $100,000 over two years to create or supplement opioid use disorder treatment programs that incorporate cultural humility.

Black and Latin people have substantially lower access to behavioral health and substance use treatment services, according to a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration report.

Opioid-related overdose deaths for people of color increased nationwide between 2015 and 2017 and spiked 100 percent in Black populations.

In Massachusetts, opioid-related overdose deaths fell between 2018 and 2019 for every ethnic group except Black non-Hispanic and Hispanics, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

“It’s important that we remove barriers to treatment that have systemically and disproportionately harmed communities of color – especially during this pandemic where accessing critical behavioral health care services is needed more than ever before,” Attorney General Maura Healey said.

The Promoting Cultural Humility in Opioid Use Disorder Treatment grant program is funded by a settlement reached by the attorney general’s office.