H.R. 2466, State Opioid Response Grant Authorization Act
Reps. David Trone (D-MD), Kelly Armstrong (R-ND), Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ), and Denver Riggleman (R-VA)
This legislation authorizes State Opioid Response (SOR) Grants and Tribal Opioid Response (TOR) Grants for 6 years. It authorizes $1.585 billion per year, which includes $79 million for TOR grants. It makes no substantive changes to the grant programs or their funding formulas. The bill does not appropriate funding.
About SOR and TOR Grants
First implemented in P.L. 115-141 (the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018), SOR and TOR grants are awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) according to a formula and conditions set forth in that legislation. They are designed to supplement existing activities and support a comprehensive response to the opioid epidemic.
From SAMHSA’s website: “The program aims to address the opioid crisis by increasing access to medication-assisted treatment using the three FDA-approved medications for the treatment of opioid use disorder, reducing unmet treatment need, and reducing opioid overdose related deaths through the provision of prevention, treatment and recovery activities for opioid use disorder (OUD) (including prescription opioids, heroin and illicit fentanyl and fentanyl analogs). These grants [are] awarded to states and territories via formula. The program also includes a 15 percent set-aside for the ten states with the highest mortality rate related to drug overdose deaths.”
Why This Bill is Needed
SOR and TOR grants have provided states and tribal organizations with significant and much-needed resources to respond to the opioid epidemic. The money distributed through these grants has helped to provide additional treatment beds, hire the workforce necessary to expand treatment and recovery options, bridge gaps identified in systems of care, support robust prevention campaigns, as well as many other responses. States and downstream grant recipients use these funds to deal with the acute problems posed by the current crisis, and will continue to need them in the next few years to turn the tide of opioid addiction.
The State Opioid Response Grant Authorization Act will give states and tribal authorities more certainty regarding this funding by providing congressional authorization for the next five years. If we continue to prioritize efforts to combat the opioid epidemic over that period, we can reduce the most acute needs and fold these funds back into existing substance abuse prevention, treatment, and recovery funding streams.