August 3, 2018
We appreciate the work you are doing to address the opioid crisis in your community. This Administration has often noted the contributions and value of faith-based programs and leaders to the success of public initiatives, and the Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives (Partnership Center) supports the work you are doing to address the opioid crisis. As your efforts demonstrate, we will only be successful in addressing this crisis through a concerted and collective effort of federal, state, and community partners.
Importantly, we want to make sure you know that the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is releasing a Frequently Asked Questions document affirming that states may use the State Opioid Response (SOR) grant funds to support the provision of substance use disorder services by faith-based organizations. Additionally, the FAQs make it clear that if states elect to do so, they are allowed to use a portion of their funds through indirect funding or voucher programs in order to enhance client choice and increase program participation by a variety of groups, including faith-based partners. As you continue your efforts to provide prevention, treatment, and recovery services for individuals with substance use disorders, your state may have partnership opportunities to enhance substance abuse services through the state’s portion of the new SOR grants.
Community involvement is essential to combating the opioid crisis and partnerships, such as these, play an integral role. Faith-based organizations like yours can be essential to providing and encouraging access to treatment, especially Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT); recovery services such as recovery housing, employment readiness, recovery coaching, workforce development; peer certification programs; and critical strategies, such as administering naloxone, and in the prevention of substance use by adults and youth.
For many, the opioid crisis is a crisis of hope. Treatment and recovery support services by faith and community leaders can offer hope to those struggling with substance use disorders.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if we can be of assistance to you.
Shannon O. Royce, Esq., Director
Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives
cc: State Health Officer