On August 6th media was reported that the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded more than $101 million to fight opioid crisis. 116 organizations got funds in order to address substance use disorders (SUD) and opioid use disorders (OUD) . There are approximately 20 million individuals in the US with a substance use disorder, and in 2018 data shows that every day, 128 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids. Nearly 450,000 people died from overdoses involving any opioid, including prescription and illicit opioids, from 1999-2018.
HRSA Funds Against Opioid Crisis
HRSA – The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary federal agency for improving health care to people who are geographically isolated, economically or medically vulnerable. Total awarded grants in 2019 for HRSA was – $9,937,520,174
The funds from the Health and Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will go to organizations in 42 states, especially in highly afflicted rural communities. HRSA’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy will support 89 rural organizations in 38 states with $89 million as part of the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Implementation (RCORP-Implementation).
Alex Azar, MD, secretary of HHS reported “President Trump has focused on expanding access to treatment for Americans with substance use disorders, including opioid use disorder, and that commitment continues during the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic is very stressful time for Americans who suffer from substance use disorders, and these HRSA awards will help strengthen prevention, treatment, and recovery services, especially in rural America, at this difficult time.”
The fund recipients will use award to increase service delivery for SUD and OUD inside the community, they will also create all the necessary conditions for prevention, treatment and recovery from SUD and OUD. All these steps will be coordinated with favorable practice models for every community needs in particular.
Donations are following the series of 4 executive orders with regulate drug prices for patients on prescription drugs, especially high-risk patients living in rural areas, who are significantly more at risk to be affected by preventable diseases compared with patients living in urban areas.
What is RCORP
The Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP) is a multi-year initiative supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to address barriers to access in rural communities related to substance use disorder (SUD), including opioid use disorder (OUD).
Tom Engles, administrator at HRSA commented: “These RCORP-Implementation grants are an essential part of HRSA’s overall efforts in helping to combat the opioid epidemic (opioid crisis) in the rural areas of our country.”
“HRSA award giving a capability to learn in the communities and with the families that most urgently need their services” —Tom Engles said.