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DHCS gets federal grant to increase access to opioid treatment in California



May 12, 2017
Area(s) of Interest: Drug Prescribing/Dispensing Public Health 

The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) has received a $90 million grant from the federal government to expand drug treatment services in California, primarily in counties and tribal communities that have higher rates of opioid-related overdose deaths. One key initiative will target those areas with an innovative approach to increase access to medications used to treat opioid addiction.


DHCS will use a large portion of the grant from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to expand Californians’ access to medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders, particularly using buprenorphine.


With more than 2.2 million people nationwide in 2015 who met the diagnostic criteria for an opioid use disorder, increasing appropriate access to life-saving addiction treatment services is one component of a balanced approach to addressing opioid-related morbidity and mortality rates. Treatment of opioid use disorder with medication-assisted treatment has been shown to be cost-effective, safe and successful when used appropriately.


The California Medical Association (CMA) strongly supports efforts to increase access to much-needed medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders.


DHCS also will use the grant to fund additional approaches to reduce opioid misuse, such as enhancing the wider distribution of naloxone, which can reverse the toxic effects of an opioid overdose; coordinating local coalitions to act together to reduce opioid abuse; and providing education and training to help reduce the stigma associated with addiction.


For more information, visit CMA's safe-prescribing resource page at www.cmanet.org/safe-prescribing.


There you will find:



  • Resources on prescribing controlled substances safely and effectively to relieve pain, while simultaneously reducing the risk of prescription medication misuse, addiction and overdose.

  • CMA’s white papers on prescribing opioids

  • Links to relevant documents in CMA’s health law library

  • Continuing medical education courses and webinars

  • Current information on the state's prescription drug monitoring database

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