Texas HHSC awarded $104M grant to combat opioids

Texas HHSC awarded $104M grant to combat opioids

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) announced it will receive a two-year, $104 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to help combat the opioid epidemic in that state.

The money will be used to increase access to medication-assisted treatment and reduce opioid overdose-related deaths through prevention and recovery efforts. The expenditures will focus on the “whole-patient” approach to treating those with opioid use disorder and will combine the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved medications with counseling and behavioral therapies.

“We are saving lives with the support of these federal funds that allow us more training and treatment services for people affected by the opioid crisis in Texas,” said Sonja Gaines, HHS deputy executive commissioner for Intellectual and Developmental Disability and Behavioral Health Services. “We’re working closely with agencies throughout Texas to increase prevention awareness and help people all over the state who have opioid use disorder or know someone with opioid use disorder.”

Over the past three years, Texas has received nearly $281 million in federal funding to combat the opioid crisis as part of the Texas Targeted Opioid Response (TTOR). More than 600,000 people across the state have received prevention, treatment, or recovery support through the TTOR program, officials said.

The state has also used the money to dispense 110,816 naloxone kits and to train 1,624 people on how to reverse an opioid overdose. The state said those measures saved 1,417 lives between May 2019 and June 2020.

“I am proud of the ongoing efforts of the Legislature and HHSC to end the opioid crisis in Texas,” said State Sen. Charles Schwertner, M.D. “As we continue to see the detrimental effects of opioid misuse on individuals and their families, it has become increasingly important to bolster our state’s treatment and prevention options. I am thrilled to see this great work continue and grow so we are able to provide Texans with the support and resources they need.”