AHCCCS to advance women-specific substance abuse services with new block grant funding
Last week, the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) announced their receival of $32.7 million in federal funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) made available through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The press release by AHCCCS notes that the services funded will specifically target underinsured, uninsured, or non-Medicaid eligible Arizonans with a history of active substance use in the last 12 months.
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The Substance Abuse Block Grant (SABG) funding will be used to expand intervention, treatment, and recovery support services for people struggling with substance abuse. It will also provide opportunities for future prevention of substance abuse disorders in Arizona communities.
AHCCCS says the funding will be used for initiatives that target both the general population and women specifically. 20% of fund allocation must go toward primary prevention services, and approximately 10% of the allocation must go toward intervention, treatment, and recovery services specifically for women, including pregnant and postpartum women.
For primary prevention, with an estimated allocation of over $6 million, AHCCCS’s priorities include implementing media campaigns aimed at increasing awareness of local substance abuse data and trends, implementing family education and youth life skills curriculum, expanding mentorship programs for at-risk youth, and expanding current data collection efforts.
AHCCCS will allocate $21 million for intervention, treatment, and recovery for the general population. This will fund programs to expand workforce development training, improve telehealth for treatment services, expand recovery housing, and expand detox and outpatient treatment clinics in identified areas of need.
AHCCCS will allocate over $3.5 million for women-specific services. Their priorities for this funding include integrating substance use disorder treatment with health and family services agencies for pregnant and postpartum women, developing a resource guide for physical and behavioral providers trained to address postpartum depression for women with substance abuse disorders, and expanding training for behavioral health staff to advance gender-specific substance use disorder treatment.
AHCCCS is required to use this SABG funding by Sep. 30, 2025.