A division of the Arkansas Department of Human Services has been awarded a two-year federal grant totaling $10,342,752 to focus on improving prevention and treatment services throughout Arkansas.

The Division of Adult, Aging and Behavioral Health Services (DAABHS) received the State Opioid Response (SOR) grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

“This grant award allows Arkansas to increase the ability to improve substance abuse, education, and treatment programs,” said Arkansas Drug Director Kirk Lane. “In addition, it will allow the expansion of additional programs that have a proven track record of saving lives. We are eager to pursue the abilities that this grant award provides to the citizens of Arkansas.”

The SOR grant will positively impact current prevention and treatment service programs, including the opioid antagonist Naloxone program, prescriber education program, senior education programs, and model programs for peer recovery. The goals of the SOR grant are:

  1. Increase access to Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) by recruiting and supporting new MAT providers.
  2. Reduce unmet treatment and recovery needs.
  3. Reduce opioid overdose-related deaths through the provision of OUD prevention activities. The AR-IMPACT physician training program will be continued, and two new prevention programs will be added.
  4. Modernize the DAABHS data-collection system by the addition of Web Infrastructure Treatment Services.

Key programs that will be continued with include Community-level opioid prevention activities conducted by the Criminal Justice Institute; The UAMS MAT Recovery Initiative for Arkansas Rural Communities (MATRIARC) and Project ECHO programs to provide primary care physicians, general psychiatrists, advanced practice nurses, physician assistants and mental health professionals with access to addiction psychiatry services for management; The UAMS Arkansas Maternal Opioid Rural Expansion (AR MORE) program to addresses the needs of pregnant and parenting women abusing opioids ; The UAMS Arkansas Improving Multi-disciplinary Pain Care and Treatment (AR IMPACT) education program; The Arkansas Community Corrections  MAT Re-entry Project which provides individuals re-entering of extended-release injectable Naltrexone (Vivitrol) prior to release, with referral to a MAT provider in the community.

New programs that will be created with the SOR grant are the (1) Peers Achieving Collaborative Treatment (PACT) Program and (2) the Outreach to and education of the Medicare population about the dangers of opioids through the UAMS Reynolds Institute on Aging, the nine Centers on Aging, and nursing facilities served by UAMS providers.