The Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (SAPT) Block Grant, housed within the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), is a federal block grant distributed by formula to all States, Territories, and jurisdictions. The SAPT Block Grant supports States to “plan, implement, and evaluate activities that prevent and treat substance [use]” (SAMHSA, 2022). The SAPT Block Grant was last reauthorized in the 21st Century Cures Act (P.L. 114-255) in December 2016. The authorization applied through 2022. As a result, Congress is considering legislation to reauthorize the program through 2027.
The SAPT Block Grant serves as the cornerstone of States’ substance use disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery systems. State alcohol and drug agencies play a pivotal role in applying and receiving funds to distribute to counties, local communities, and providers. The funds are dedicated to help implement evidenced-based programming. States oversee the funds through tools such as performance data management/reporting, contract monitoring, corrective action planning, onsite reviews, and technical assistance. States are required to spend 20% of SAPT Block Grant funds on primary prevention strategies. In addition, the SAPT Block Grant by statute is designed to serve priority populations and service areas such as:
• Pregnant women and women with dependent children
• People who use intravenous drugs
• Tuberculosis services
• Early intervention services for HIV/AIDS
This fact sheet is a “living document” and will continue to be updated as legislation progresses through Congress.
The Ramstad/Kennedy Award was established in 2008 to recognize an SSA Director who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in support of recovery and Recovery Month and to acknowledge Congressmen Ramstad and Kennedy for their commitment to recovery and recovery-oriented policies. The Award will be presented on Wednesday, September 21, 2022, as part of the NASADAD Quarterly Board Meeting.
To nominate an SSA director, please refer to the criteria below, and complete and return the application form by 11:59 pm (ET), Tuesday, September 6, 2022.
On May 11, the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD) joined other groups educating Congress on the benefits of the Post-Disaster Mental Health Response Act. As noted in the letter, the proposal would extend the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program (CCP) “…to be available following Emergency Declarations, not only for Major Disaster Declarations.” Previously, NASADAD sent letters to the House author of the bill — Representative Pressley (D-MA) on October 14, 2021 and the Senate leaders on the bill – Senators Durbin (D-IL) and Portman (R-OH) on February 22, 2022.
On April 5, Cassandra Price (SSA, GA), Director of Georgia’s Office of Addictive Diseases, as well as Past President of NASADAD’s Board of Directors, served as a witness for the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health’s hearing, “Communities in Need: Legislation to Support Mental Health and Well-Being.” The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health is led by Chairwoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Ranking Member Brett Guthrie (R-KY). If you missed the hearing and would like to watch it, a recording is available here. Director Price’s written testimony is attached and available here. (Director Price began her remarks at 3:31:40 of the hearing.)
Director Price’s testimony covered the following areas:
The critical role of the State alcohol and drug agencies in managing the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (SAPT) Block Grant and State Opioid Response Grant program.
The role of State alcohol and drug agencies in planning substance use disorder (SUD) service delivery, treatment, recovery, as well as ensuring quality and accountability.
The impact of COVID-19 in Georgia.
Promoting cross-agency collaboration across State government given the impact of alcohol and other drug use has on other sectors.
Georgia’s work to partner with community stakeholders, provider networks, physicians, colleges and universities, and more to reduce the number of overdose deaths, provide access to those needing treatment, and increase the availability of recovery support in communities
Continued efforts to support the provider community on delivering prevention, treatment, and recovery services.
The importance of delivering culturally competent services.
Her recommendations to the Committee included:
Promote and ensure a strong Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) that serves as the lead federal agency across the federal government on substance use disorder service delivery.
Ensure that federal policy and resources related to substance use disorders are routed through the State alcohol and drug agency.
Continued investments in the SAPT Block Grant while maintaining maximum flexibility.
Promote sustained and predictable funds through three- to five-year discretionary grants.
Continue to work to address the opioid crisis but also elevate efforts to address all substance use disorders, including those linked to alcohol and other substances.
Provide SAMHSA the authority and resources to help address the nation’s substance use disorder workforce crisis.
Ensure that initiatives designed to implement 988 and crisis services improvement to specifically include programs and strategies to address substance use disorders.
Maintain as much flexibility as possible in the use of SAPT Block Grant funds.
Other witnesses included:
Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon, Ph.D., Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Carole Johnson, M.A., Administrator, Health Resources and Services Administration
Rebecca W. Brendel, M.D., J.D., President-Elect, American Psychiatric Association
Sandy L. Chung, M.D., F.A.A.P., F.A.C.H.E., President-Elect, American Academy of Pediatrics
Steven Adelsheim, M.D., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Director, Stanford Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Children’s Health
Debra Pinals, M.D., Medical Director, Behavioral Health and Forensic Programs, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, On behalf of the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors
LeVail W. Smith, C.P.S.S., Peer Support Specialist Instructor and Mentor
On March 15, 2022, President Biden signed a $1.5 trillion dollar spending package that includes final appropriations for fiscal year (FY) 2022. This document outlines the final funding levels for NASADAD’s priority programs within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), including language from the Administration’s Congressional Justifications, as well as the House and Senate Appropriations Committees’ bill reports and final appropriations bill reports.
On February 1st, Sara Goldsby (SSA, S.C.), Director of the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS), as well as President of NASADAD’s Board of Directors, testified before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee during a hearing, “Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders: Responding to the Growing Crisis.” The HELP Committee is led by Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) and Ranking Member Richard Burr (R-N.C.).
Ms. Goldsby’s testimony covered the following areas:
The critical role State alcohol and drug agencies play in overseeing and implementing a coordinated prevention, treatment, and recovery service system
Working to support providers to ensure quality and delivery of evidence-based practices
Coordinating with other State agencies on programs and services across prevention, treatment, and recovery
Communicating with, and acquiring input from, providers and local communities and stakeholders
Efforts from the federal government that have been helpful in addressing SUD issues
Her recommendations to the Committee included:
Promote and ensure a strong SAMHSA that serves as the lead federal agency across the federal government on substance use disorder service delivery
Ensure that federal policy and resources related to substance use disorders are routed through the State alcohol and drug agency
Continued investments in the SAPT Block Grant while maintaining maximum flexibility
Promote sustained and predictable funds through three- to five-year discretionary grants
Ensure new federal initiatives and funding complement and enhance the current system
Continue to work to address the opioid crisis but also elevate efforts to address all substance use disorders, including those linked to alcohol and other substances
Provide SAMHSA the authority and resources to help address the nation’s substance use disorder workforce crisis
Ensure that initiatives designed to implement 988 and crisis services improvement to specifically include programs and strategies to address substance use disorders
Maintain recent flexibilities to ensure access to substance use disorder services
Other witnesses included:
Mitch Prinstein, PhD, ABPP, Chief Science Officer, American Psychological Association, Chapel Hill, NC
Michelle P. Durham, MD, MPH, FAPA, DFAACAP, Vice Chair of Education, Department of Psychiatry, Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry & Pediatrics, Boston Medical Center, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA
Jennifer D. Lockman, PhD, CEO, Centerstone Research Institute, Nashville, TN
Claire Rhyneer, Mental Health Youth Advocate, Anchorage, AK
If you missed the hearing and would like to watch it, a recording is available here.
On October 18th, the Senate Appropriations Committee, led by Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-AL), released the report to accompany the FY 2022 (Oct. 1, 2021-Sept. 30, 2022) Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill. The bill includes funding for all HHS programs, including the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).