April 9, 2019

Dr. Courtney N. Phillips, HHS Executive Commissioner

Contact: 
Kelli Weldon, 512-424-6951
Kelli.Weldon@hhsc.state.tx.us

Texas Awarded Additional $24 Million in Federal Funds

AUSTIN – Texas continues to fight opioid misuse through millions of dollars in new funding, increased public awareness and an expanded list of medications physicians can use to help Medicaid clients recover from opioid addiction. 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced an additional $24 million in funding for Texas to supplement the State Opioid Response grant program. To date, Texas has been awarded more than $176 million in federal funding related to fighting the opioid crisis under the Texas Health and Human Services’ Texas Targeted Opioid Response program. 

More than 122,000 people have received prevention, treatment or recovery support services through the TTOR program since May 1, 2017, including treatment, peer coaching services, disposal of prescription drugs, and overdose-related emergency response services.

The new funding will expand access to treatment options, including medication-assisted treatment, which helps people by combining approved medications with counseling and behavioral therapies for a “whole-patient” approach to the treatment of substance use disorders. The funding will increase access to treatment and aims to reduce opioid overdose-related deaths through prevention and recovery activities.

Details about the new $24 million in grant funding, including information about individual projects and recipients, will be finalized in the coming weeks.

“By building upon the success of the TTOR program, more Texans will have access to the resources they need as they enter recovery,” said Governor Greg Abbott. “To effectively address this crisis, we must continue to invest in a comprehensive strategy that that prioritizes the health and safety of Texans while effectively combating the mistreatment of opioids. I am grateful for the collaborative work of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and HHSC to address opioid misuse and provide greater recovery resources for those experiencing substance use disorders.”

“These grant funds will enable us to strengthen our existing work on addressing opioids in Texas,” HHS Executive Commissioner Dr. Courtney N. Phillips said. “We are actively expanding our efforts to help people who are affected by the consequences of opioid misuse and collaborating with agencies throughout the state to increase prevention awareness and ultimately save lives.”

"The abuse of opioids is a real and present danger detrimentally impacting every Texas community. It destroys people and their families.  It also adversely impacts our emergency rooms, schools, workplaces and roadways; and often it severely strains our local first responders, prosecutors and county jails. The House Select Committee on Opioids and Substance Abuse which I chaired heard many hours of testimony on this subject. What we also heard is that it takes treatment to combat this scourge, and this additional funding represents ‘Hope’ to those struggling with addiction and ‘Hope’ to their families," said Rep. Four Price.

Additionally, at the recommendation of the Texas Medicaid Drug Utilization Review Board, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission has made changes to the Texas Medicaid Preferred Drug List in 2019. Extended-release injectable naltrexone, combination buprenorphine and naloxone sublingual tablets, and combination buprenorphine and naloxone buccal film are now included as preferred options in the Opiate Dependence Treatments class for recovery from opioid addiction.

To learn more about opioid misuse prevention, go to the new “Dose of Reality” website, a collaboration of the Texas Attorney General, Texas HHSC and the Texas Department of State Health Services. Visit doseofreality.texas.gov.

“I applaud HHSC for furthering its efforts to help Texans fight against opioid misuse and abuse. My office was pleased to have the agency’s assistance on our Dose of Reality website, which is raising awareness of the dangers of prescription and illicit opioids,” said Attorney General Ken Paxton. “As Texans, we must continue to do everything possible to combat opioid misuse, save lives and spare families from unnecessary loss and grief.”

Background About Grant Amounts for Texas

Texas HHSC is combating opioid misuse through the TTOR initiative, which encompasses four grant opportunities from SAMHSA totaling more than $176 million over funding periods:

  • Texas Targeted Opioid Response Grant: $54,724,714 (May 1, 2017, through April 30, 2019)
  • State Opioid Response Grant: $92,458,184 (Sept. 30, 2018, through Sept. 29, 2020), in addition to the new $24,131,586 grant supplement award
  • Strategic Prevention Framework for Prescription Drugs: $1,858,080 (Sept. 1, 2016, through Aug. 31, 2021)
  • Texas First Responders - Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act Grant: $3,200,000 (Sept. 30, 2017, through Sept. 29, 2021)

To meet federal grantee requirements, streamline deployment of funds, and maintain quality services, HHSC plans to expand existing contracts and partner with governmental entities such as academic institutions and local mental health authorities. For more information on Texas’ opioid response efforts, visit: https://hhs.texas.gov/sites/default/files/documents/laws-regulations/reports-presentations/2019/tx-targeted-opioid-response-march-2019.pdf.

Office of the Texas Governor News Release here: https://gov.texas.gov/news/post/texas-expands-opioid-misuse-prevention-and-treatment-efforts