University of Nevada, Reno

April 19, 2017
Contact: HHS Press Office

Trump Administration awards grants to states to combat opioid crisis

HHS will administer grants totaling $485 million to all 50 states

Secretary Price sends letter to governors: “Through a sustained focus on people, patients, and partnerships, I am confident that together we can turn the tide on this public health crisis.”

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, M.D. today announced that HHS will soon provide $485 million in grants to help states and territories combat opioid addiction. The funding, which is the first of two rounds provided for in the 21st Century Cures Act, will be provided through the State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grants administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The funding will be issued to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, four U.S. territories, and the free associated states of Palau and Micronesia. Funding will support a comprehensive array of prevention, treatment, and recovery services depending on the needs of recipients. States and territories were awarded funds based on rates of overdose deaths and unmet need for opioid addiction treatment.

Secretary Price sent a letter to governors whose states are receiving grants and outlined his and the administration’s firm commitment to address the opioid crisis as each state and territory across the country works to address the significant health, social, and economic consequences. In his letter to governors, Secretary Price wrote, in part:

“As I begin my tenure as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), I do so with a profound commitment to addressing this public health crisis as one of our top three Departmental priorities. Opioids were responsible for over 33,000 deaths in 2015; this alarming statistic is unacceptable to me. We cannot continue to lose our nation’s citizens to addiction. Through a sustained focus on people, patients, and partnerships, I am confident that together we can turn the tide on this public health crisis.”

“President Trump recently announced the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. This Commission is tasked with studying the scope and effectiveness of the federal response to this crisis and providing recommendations to the President for improving it. HHS is uniquely positioned to contribute in this important effort as a key agency providing critical resources for care and treatment.”

In the letter, Secretary Price commits to continue working with governors to combat the evolving opioid crisis and to ensure federal funding supports clinically sound, effective, and efficient programs, stating:

“These grants aim to increase access to treatment, reduce unmet need, and reduce overdose related deaths. I understand the urgency of this funding; however, I also want to ensure the resources and policies are properly aligned with and remain responsive to this evolving epidemic. Therefore, while I am releasing the funding for the first year immediately, my intention for the second year is to develop funding allocations and policies that are the most clinically sound, effective and efficient. To that end, in the coming weeks and months, I will seek your assistance to identify best practices, lessons learned, and key strategies that produce measureable results. Thank you for your collaboration and partnership as we move forward in this critical work together to help the millions of Americans hurt by this public health crisis.”

To combat the ongoing opioid crisis, HHS has prioritized five specific strategies: strengthening public health surveillance, advancing the practice of pain management, improving access to treatment and recovery services, targeting availability and distribution of overdose-reversing drugs, and supporting cutting-edge research.

To view a breakdown of first year funding by states and territories, please see the table below.

To view a breakdown of first year funding by states and territories, please see the table below.

State Award Amount

Alabama – $7,967,873
Alaska – $2,000,000
Arizona – $12,171,518
Arkansas – $3,901,297
California – $44,749,771
Colorado – $7,869,651
Connecticut – $5,500,157
Delaware – $2,000,000
District of Columbia – $2,000,000
Florida – $27,150,403
Georgia – $11,782,710
Hawaii – $2,000,000
Idaho – $2,000,000
Illinois – $16,328,583
Indiana – $10,925,992
Iowa – $2,728,077
Kansas – $3,114,402
Kentucky – $10,528,093
Louisiana – $8,167,971
Maine – $2,039,029
Maryland – $10,036,845
Massachusetts – $11,742,924
Michigan – $16,372,680
Minnesota – $5,379,349
Mississippi – $3,584,702
Missouri – $10,015,898
Montana – $2,000,000
Nebraska – $2,000,000
Nevada – $5,663,328
New Hampshire – $3,128,366
New Jersey – $12,995,621
New Mexico – $4,792,551
New York – $25,260,676
North Carolina – $15,586,724
North Dakota – $2,000,000
Ohio – $26,060,502
Oklahoma – $7,283,229
Oregon – $6,564,425
Pennsylvania – $26,507,559
Rhode Island – $2,167,007
South Carolina – $6,575,623
South Dakota – $2,000,000
Tennessee – $13,815,132
Texas – $27,362,357
Utah – $5,537,458
Vermont – $2,000,000
Virginia – $9,762,332
Washington – $11,790,256
West Virginia – $5,881,983
Wisconsin – $7,636,938
Wyoming – $2,000,000

Territory Award Amount

American Samoa – $250,000
Micronesia – $250,000
Northern Marianas – $250,000
Palau – $250,000
Puerto Rico – $4,811,962
Virgin Islands – $250,000

Posted by Hattie Hayes, Feb 24, 2016

We currently have a nationwide crisis going on in the mental health field. With the opioid epidemic growing, there just aren’t enough counseling and addiction services to go around.

In many areas of the country, there are shortages of mental health professionals and services for patients who need help. Patients who suffer from a wide range of addiction issues cannot get the help and support they need.

How do we help address this crucial issue in our healthcare system?

While the problem is an incredibly complex one, one potential piece of the puzzle could be to start more widely applying telemedicine to the addiction treatment field.  Telehealth has the potential to increase patients’ access to support services at the times they need it the most, and without the potential barriers of having to travel to see a healthcare provider or counselor.

In a care field where frequent check-ins and a strong patient-provider relationship could save a life, telehealth has a huge potential to make a difference.

So, where do we start? How do healthcare providers start to apply telehealth to addiction treatment and recovery services?

Here are a few tips to get started.

Use telehealth to complement services

It’s important to think of telehealth as a tool, not a completely new way of practicing medicine. Chances are you have established a relationship with your patients face-to-face, and are using telemedicine to maintain that relationship. In that spirit, see telemedicine as a natural companion to the care model you’ve been using successfully.

Telemedicine can be good for interventional communications as well as progress updates, especially via mobile devices. Many digital health programs based around addiction also have a behavioral health component that can act as remote therapy for patients and heighten the impact of in-office therapy.

Help patients feel in control

For patients, telemedicine emphasizes the feeling that their health is in their hands–with the advent of cell phones, sometimes literally! Emphasize this autonomy when you use telemedicine. Helping patients make solid health choices is the goal of any physician, so let that mentality guide your virtual treatments.

Ask patients direct questions about what they feel is effective in their health plan, or what they wish they could change. By using telemedicine, you’re talking to patients in their own environments, and that makes it easier for them to take charge and show initiative in their health decisions. Encourage patients to reach out to you via telemedicine when needed–that’s in their control, too.

Chart and action trends

Another benefit of telemedicine is your ability to chart behaviors and symptoms at any given time. Patients can update you easily and quickly with their condition, so take advantage of it. When you use telemedicine for regular check-ins, you’re more likely to get a comprehensive reading of your patient’s daily life. It’s also easier to act on problems quickly when you’ve tracked them correctly, so you have a better chance of addressing potential difficulties before they start. This is also a good way to see the impact of health plan changes or even to understand when to scale back treatment.

Understand patient comorbidity

One of the biggest challenges for any physician is treating multiple health issues at once. For addiction treatment, that challenge is compounded. Many addictions rise up in the wake of other health issues, such as chronic pain. Luckily, telemedicine is an extremely effective tool for chronic care of any kind. It’s a great way to maintain quality of care, or to stop acute conditions from having a deeper impact on chronic patients’ lives. Telemedicine can give you greater insight into the way a patient’s illnesses play against one another. Getting a good grasp on comorbidity is difficult, but worth it in the long-term–and thanks to technology, multi-condition tracking may soon be automated.

Combine tracking & action

Along with recording patients’ conditions, you can use telemedicine to create healthy behavior patterns. By combining tracking and action, you strengthen continuity of care and show patients the way treatment truly helps solve problems. Consider recommending basic behavior-based apps and programs, like fitness and brain-training games. Or, choose a program built specifically around mental health, like, and show patients how to take action in their lifestyle changes.

When you base new, healthful habits around communication and connectivity, you’re showing patients the benefit of consistent communication. In other words, you’re displaying the benefits of telemedicine in real time and encouraging patients to keep communication up!

If you’ve used telemedicine to treat addiction, we’d like to hear about your successes, strategies and workflow tips.

Nancy Roget
Nancy Roget

Community Partner of Northern Nevada

Nancy A. Roget, MS, MFT
Executive Director | Center for the Application of Substance Abuse Technologies

From the beginning of her career, Nancy Roget has sought to help those struggling with substance abuse problems. She started as a direct care provider for patients until her talents led her in to administrative roles. She has served as both an instructor at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) and a trainer for the State of Nevada. Nancy began working with the Center for the Application of Substance Abuse Technology (CASAT) as co-director and was named executive director in 2006. At the center, she continued to develop effective academic programs, prevention services, continuing education programs, outreach and innovation projects.

With Nancy’s innovative leadership, CASAT has developed into a multi-million dollar, grant-funded center that remains invaluable to UNR and the Northern Nevada community. While the results of her work is impressive, it is Nancy’s personal qualities that speak to her commitment to the community. When a group of students sought to provide services at the student-run outreach clinic for substance use issues, Nancy took it upon herself and CASAT to facilitate and support their endeavors. She assisted their program development, supplied materials and gave the students and patients a unique opportunity to help others.

Nancy is persistent in her mission to improve healthcare and healthcare education to better serve those in need. She challenges her colleagues and students to settle for nothing less than excellence while also being a compassionate and generous resource for others. Her problem solving, opportunism and ability to inspire others makes her an invaluable partner to the Reno community.