August 16, 2018
Jennifer Miller, 608-266-1683
Elizabeth Goodsitt, 608-266-1683

#HopeActLiveWI: Federal Grant to Boost Wisconsin's Response to the Opioid Crisis

State Opioid Response grant to support prevention, treatment, and recovery programs

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) has applied for an $11.8 million federal grant to support Wisconsin’s response to the opioid crisis. The funding is through the nearly $1 billion State Opioid Response grant program administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and is available to all states and U.S. territories.

“This funding will boost our ongoing efforts to provide hope, health, and healing to those who need it the most,” said DHS Director of Opioid Initiatives Paul Krupski. “We are saving lives, but there are more people to reach. This additional funding will help us sustain, enhance, and expand critical prevention, treatment, and recovery programs. We look forward to working with our state, tribal, and local partners to meet the needs of those struggling with opioid addiction.”

Wisconsin’s plan will continue funding for initiatives recently developed under SAMHSA’s State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis grant program. With the new funding, projects backed by Governor Scott Walker’s Task Force on Opioid Abuse to reduce the nonmedical use of opioids, reduce opioid overdose related deaths, and expand medication-assisted treatment will be supported beyond April 2019, when the initial funding was set to expire. Additionally, these efforts will be expanded to include more high need communities.

In the first year of Wisconsin’s state targeted response to the opioid crisis managed by the DHS Division of Care and Treatment Services, May 2017 through April 2018, 63 community coalitions received support for prevention activities, about 900 people received treatment through partnerships with 16 counties and five tribes, and 95 people received coaching to begin their recovery journey through a network of individuals who themselves have overcome an addiction to opioids.

SAMHSA allocated the State Opioid Response grants using a formula based on drug overdose deaths and the proportion of residents who have a substance use disorder but don’t receive treatment. Wisconsin recorded 1,031 drug overdose deaths in 2016. It is estimated that about 355,000 people needing substance use treatment in Wisconsin are not seeking or receiving it.

The new funding is expected to be awarded in September. It is an annual allocation available for two years.