Health and Family Services Seeks Funding for Opioid Abuse

FRANKFORT, KY. (Jan. 11, 2017) – Recent Federal Legislation has made funding available to states to combat the epidemic of opioid use disorder. Kentucky has the opportunity to apply for up to $10 million over the next two years.

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), in partnership with the Office of the Governor and the Kentucky Cabinet for Justice and Public Safety, will submit an application to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) in response to the announcement of this additional funding.

The Kentucky Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities (BHDID), will serve as the lead state agency for the preparation and submission of the grant application, which is due Feb. 17.

In order to solicit input from those across that state with expertise and experience in combatting this crisis, CHFS has issued a Request for Information (RFI). More information about the funding can be found on the SAMSHA website here. To locate the RFI online, click here.

Due to the impending deadline for grant submissions, RFI responses must be received by 2 p.m. EST on Thursday, January 19. A conference call will take place at 12 p.m. EST this Friday (Jan. 13). All interested parties are encouraged to participate in order to gather more information about the RFI and ask questions. Use the dial-in 1-866-904-6912 and 588972 for the access code.

“Opioid abuse and overdose is one of the most significant health concerns facing our state and directly contributes to a number of other problems, including the growing number of children in foster care,” said CHFS Secretary Vickie Yates Brown Glisson. “It is imperative we take full advantage of this funding opportunity to expand treatment and enhance ongoing work to prevent substance abuse.”

Priority populations under consideration by the CHFS and its partners include, but are not limited to:

· Pregnant and parenting women with an opioid abuse disorder;

· Incarcerated individuals with opioid abuse disorder who are re-entering the community; and

· Individuals treated for an overdose in Emergency Room settings.

Those submitting responses are encouraged to offer suggestions about other populations to be considered by CHFS. In addition, CHFS is also seeking suggested strategies for preventing of opioid abuse and overdoses; practices for opioid abuse treatment, particularly Medication Assisted Treatment; and increased access to treatment and recovery supports.

“Substance use disorders, particularly opioid use disorder, impacts almost every family in Kentucky in some way,” said Dr. Allen Brenzel, clinical director for BHDID. “Drug-related overdose deaths continue to increase each year and we are seeing more adverse health effects related to opioid abuse including overdoses, Hepatitis C infections and the risk of HIV transmission. We are also deeply troubled by the number of infants being born exposed to illicitly obtained opioids prior to birth. It is imperative that we use these funds in ways that will have the most impact. Our goal is to further increase access to readily available, evidence-based, high quality substance use disorder treatment and recovery services.”