Texas receives $27.4 million grant to combat opioid addiction

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission announced that Texas has been awarded $27.4 million in federal funds to combat opioid use disorders. The grant, provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, will boost Texas' efforts aimed at preventing and treating prescription and illicit opioid dependence.

Read the IG inspection of Texas Medicaid efforts to reduce prescription opioid abuse and overutilization.

Increasing rates of opioid use continue to be an issue nationwide. Of the more than 33,000 opioid-related deaths in the United States in 2015, 1,186 were in Texas.

The $27.4 million will be used for prevention, training, outreach, treatment, and recovery support services and will directly help an estimated 14,000 people over a two-year period. Activities include:

  • Expanding capacity and access to opioid treatment sites across the state and eliminating the current waitlist for services.
  • Increasing training and technical assistance to providers and prescribers to ensure the use of best practices for preventing and treating opioid addiction.
  • Enhancing recovery services and peer-to-peer supports.
  • Boosting outreach activities by coordinating with state agency partners, crisis teams at Local Mental Health Authorities, HIV outreach workers and peer re-entry pilot programs.

Funds from the grant will allow HHSC to focus on the following populations at risk for opioid use disorders: people who live in major metropolitan areas, women who are pregnant and postpartum, and people who have a history of prescription opioid misuse. It will also target people who may be at an increased risk of developing an opioid use disorder, including people being treated for chronic pain, veterans and people who live in rural areas with high rates of opioid use.

HHSC plans to implement opioid prevention and treatment services through contract amendments with existing providers and open enrollments to expand our network of providers, including Local Mental Health and Behavioral Health Authorities and new contracts with university partners.