Florida overdose response programs receive $4.3 million from SAMHSA

The latest round of funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will distribute approximately $4.3 million across eight organizations in Florida. SAMHSA awarded a total of $123 million nationally, divided into six types of grant programs to provide communities and health providers with “multifaceted support.”

 

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A majority of these organizations will receive funding for Medication Assisted Treatment for Prescription Drug and Opioid Addiction (MAT-PDOA). The opioid epidemic in Florida remains a key concern, as behavioral health specialists begin to analyze the long-term effects of the pandemic on opioid use. Preliminary state data suggests that overdose deaths in Florida, including those from opioid use, increased by 59% from 2019 to 2020. In the announcement, SAMHSA will direct MAT-PODA funding over a period of five years. 

“The five-year program seeks to increase the number of Americans receiving MAT and decrease their illicit opioid use and/or prescription misuse by their six-month follow-ups.”

Florida will also receive a nearly $1 million Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) grant. According to SAMHSA: 

“The SBIRT program guides clinicians in the practice of screening for SUD; providing needed, brief intervention; and referring children, adolescents, and/or adults in primary care and community health settings to treatment services.”

Lastly, half a million will support the implementation of a First Responder Addiction Recovery Act (FR-CARA) program in Pinellas County. This program would support first responders’ training using federally-approved devices for the emergency reversal of opioid overdoses. 

These community-based crisis response initiatives are top priorities for behavioral health advocates in the state. Other resources in the works include the implementation of 988, the behavioral health hotline, and developing more certified community health clinics across the state. Gayle Giese, chair of the NAMI Advocacy Group at NAMI Broward County, says more robust community-based resources will help reduce an over-reliance on law enforcement. 

“NAMI says that only high-risk situations really require a law enforcement officer. This is something that’s been so needed for so long. But, it’s like no one realized this. This is really not saying that we don’t want law enforcement, this is saying there’s a void in the system.”

See a full list of Florida grant recipients below: 

CENTERSTONE OF FLORIDA, INC. BRADENTON $525,000 MAT- PDOA
MERIDIAN BEHAVIORAL HEALTHCARE, INC. GAINESVILLE $525,000 MAT- PDOA
VILLAGE SOUTH, INC, THE MIAMI $524,912 MAT- PDOA
WESTCARE FOUNDATION, INC. SAINT PETERSBURG $525,000 MAT- PDOA
DAVID LAWRENCE MENTAL HEALTH CENTER, INC. NAPLES $469,713 MAT- PDOA
JACKSON MEMORIAL HOSPITAL MIAMI $330,440 MAT- PDOA
LUTHERAN SERVICES FLORIDA, INC. TAMPA $995,000 SBIRT
COUNTY OF PINELLAS CLEARWATER $499,999 FR-CARA