August 14. 2018 10:34AM

State officials to unveil plan for $45M opioid abuse treatment grant

By DAVE SOLOMON
New Hampshire Union Leader


CONCORD — State officials on Wednesday will unveil a plan to invest more than $45 million in federal money over the next two years to make it easier for people to get treatment for opioid abuse.

The state is eligible for a $45.8 million grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, but must first demonstrate how it intends to use the money.

Gov. Chris Sununu and Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeffrey Meyers will share details of the plan at a briefing on Wednesday.

In a statement issued on Monday, Sununu said New Hampshire will create a system of care that streamlines and coordinates services for individuals and their families.

“Taking that first step of asking for help for substance use disorder is often the hardest. The model we are proposing is intended to make that first step the easiest,” he said.

“This funding will help us drastically reform how individuals are able to access substance abuse disorder services, increase access to that treatment, reduce unmet treatment needs, and reduce the devastating impact that opioid use disorder has had on our communities through investments in prevention, treatment, and recovery services,” according to Sununu.

New Hampshire’s goal is to create clear points of entry into treatment for any resident with a substance abuse problem.

The state would use the money to expand medication-assisted treatment, recovery supports services, access to recovery housing, evidence-based prevention programs, workforce opportunities and training and education for providers and people in recovery.

Public hearings were held to obtain input used to develop the proposal, according to Meyers.

“The state’s proposal has been directly informed by the valuable feedback we received from individuals who have personal experience with the epidemic, advocates, stakeholders and the citizens of New Hampshire,” said Meyers.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to apply for funding that will allow us to provide additional, critical support for those struggling with addiction.”

The final award of the monies from SAMHSA is expected by the end of September.

dsolomon@unionleader.com