WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released an additional installment of State Opioid Response (SOR) grants that includes a $55,790,598 grant to the Ohio Department of Health to address the addiction crisis in Ohio. These funds will be used to expand access to addiction treatment that works, especially medication-assisted treatment (MAT) with appropriate social supports. The Ohio Department of Health will distribute these funds.

“There isn’t a community in Ohio that hasn’t been touched by the addiction crisis,” said Brown. “This much-needed investment will expand access to medication-assisted treatment that so many Ohioans rely on to help them in their recovery.”

This investment is a part of HHS’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) response grants, which Brown fought for. The grant program works to address the opioid crisis by increasing access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT), reducing unmet treatment needs, and reducing opioid overdose related deaths through prevention, treatment and recovery activities for opioid use disorder. 

Brown has long been fighting to expand access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for Ohioans, securing a provision in the addiction package signed into law in October to ensure all doctors who are authorized to prescribe MAT, like buprenorphione, can treat up to 275 patients and also eliminated the time limit under which authorized nurse practitioners and physicians assistants can prescribe MAT, to ensure continuity of care. The provision also allows authorized advanced practice nurses, such as certified nurse midwives and certified nurse specialists, to prescribe MAT for a limited, five-year period in states where they have prescribing authority. This funding, when combined with expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, will help ensure more Ohioans have access to anti-craving medication used to help treat opioid use disorder.