On Friday the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration announced the release of an additional $10.5M in State Opioid Response funds for Arizona (AHCCCS) to supplement 1st year funding.

SAMHSA expects to also release additional 2nd year continuation awards later this year. The objective of the grant is to expand access to evidence based treatment…  especially to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) with social supports.  There are three medications commonly used to treat opioid addiction:

  • Methadone – clinic-based opioid agonist that does not block other narcotics while preventing withdrawal while taking it; daily liquid dispensed only in specialty regulated clinics

  • Naltrexone – office-based non-addictive opioid antagonist that blocks the effects of other narcotics; daily pill or monthly injection

  • Buprenorphine – office-based opioid agonist/ antagonist that blocks other narcotics while reducing withdrawal risk; daily dissolving tablet, cheek film, or 6-month implant under the skin

Reducing the public health impact from the opioid epidemic will take a combination of evidence based interventions including continued reforming of prescribing practices, increasing treatment options and access, additional community based interventions including syringe access services, increasing access to rescue medications and interventions by law enforcement and the criminal justice system.

This new supplemental award as well as the upcoming 2nd year funding will provide important new opportunities to make additional progress.