SAMHSA grants are appropriated by Congress and go to Single State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Authorities. However, current “language” does not allow these funds to be awarded to or used by for-profit proprietary OTPs. This policy needs to be changed since approximately 60% of the OTPs are operated by for profit entities. State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Authorities are currently able to contract with such entities with specific operating requirements and deliverables. However, this procedure needs to be more transparent so that OTPs, regardless of ownership status, will benefit from opportunities to expand. Fortunately, SAMHSA has already begun to move in this policy arena. In a communication dated August 4, 2021, Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, provided guidance to State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors to use SAMHSA funds for both nonprofit and for-profit OTPs through appropriate mechanisms and to use such funds to purchase mobile vans. The use of mobile vans is particularly vital to serving patients in rural areas as well as prisons and jails where research shows a large majority of the patients with OUD exist. AATOD recommends that SAMHSA continue to support the expansion of mobile vans connected to OTPs wherever they are needed, and to monitor how states will use such funds to treat opioid use disorder.
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