News

KDADS Awarded Supplemental $2.1 Million State Opioid Response Grant to Continue Efforts to Combat Opioid Use in Kansas

For Immediate Release

March 29, 2019

For more information contact:
Cara Sloan-Ramos
Public Information Officer
Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services
785-296-0807

TOPEKA – The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) has been awarded supplemental first-year funding in the amount of $2,112,683 for the State Opioid Response (SOR) grants. The grants, administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), are designed to combat the ongoing opioid crisis. KDADS was awarded $4 million in 2018 in the initial distribution of funds from the program.

“Opioid addiction and abuse is a growing problem across our country, and unfortunately Kansas is no exception,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “It is important that we work together in innovative ways to address the challenges facing many in our communities.”

Increases in opioid-related drug misuse and deaths parallel the increase in prescription opioid availability. According to data from Kansas Tracking and Reporting of Controlled Substances (K-TRACS), the Kansas prescription drug monitoring program, there were more than 5.4 million Schedule II-IV prescriptions and more than 332 million pills dispensed in Kansas in 2018. 

“We intend to use this funding to invest in expanding access to treatment, particularly evidence-based treatment, and reducing the number of opioid-related deaths across our state,” KDADS Acting Secretary Laura Howard said.

HHS released the additional monies last week to supplement first-year funding and expand access to treatment that works, especially to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) with appropriate social supports. The awards to states and territories are part of HHS’s Five-Point Opioid Strategy:

1. Access: Better Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Services

HHS issued over $800 million in grants in 2017 to support treatment, prevention, and recovery, while making it easier for states to receive waivers to cover treatment through their Medicaid programs.

2. Data: Better Data on the Epidemic

HHS is improving understanding of the crisis by supporting more timely, specific public health data and reporting, including through accelerating Center for Disease Control’s reporting of drug overdose data.

3. Pain: Better Pain Management

HHS wants to ensure everything — payments, prescribing guidelines, and more — promotes healthy, evidence-based methods of pain management.

4. Overdoses: Better Targeting of Overdose-Reversing Drugs

HHS works to better target the availability of lifesaving overdose-reversing drugs. The 2019 federal budget includes $74 million in new investments to support this goal.

5. Research: Better Research on Pain and Addiction

HHS supports cutting edge research on pain and addiction, including through a new National Institutes of Health public-private partnership.

KDADS’ Behavioral Health Commission will implement, oversee and monitor grant activities. KDADS is currently using SOR award funding to provide MAT services to uninsured patients in Kansas through the Kansas SOR Program and will be requesting grant applications for this supplemental funding to help provide opioid use disorder treatment during the next state fiscal year.

Current sub-awardees are KU Physicians, Inc., Central Kansas Foundation, Heartland RADAC and Four County Mental Health Center.

Governor Kelly is sending a representative from KDADS and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to the Federal Opioid Summit for New Administrations the second week of April to learn more about the federal response to the national opioid crisis and what new state administrations can do to help treat and prevent opioid use disorder.