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Health Agencies Update
April 26, 2016

HHS Awards $94 Million to Treat Opioid Use Disorders

JAMA. 2016;315(16):1692. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.4572

To expand treatment programs in community health centers for patients with opioid use disorder and other substance abuse disorders, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded $94 million to 271 health centers in 45 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico (http://1.usa.gov/1QK8HIR). The awards will enable health centers to hire approximately 800 additional health care clinicians to treat about 124 000 new patients in underserved populations in integrated primary care and behavioral health care programs (http://1.usa.gov/1LWNCMn). The funds will also assist community health centers to boost screening programs and increase patient access to medication-assisted treatment programs that use a combination of counseling and medications such as methadone or naltrexone to reduce drug cravings and ease withdrawal symptoms. In addition, the grants will help health centers provide clinicians with educational resources and training to help them make informed pain medication prescribing decisions.

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