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California Awards Millions to Strengthen State’s Opioid Response

SACRAMENTO — As part of California’s $1 billion plan to tackle the opioid epidemic, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) today awarded more than $12 million in grants to strengthen the state’s opioid response. Today’s awards include $7.9 million to 20 DHCS-licensed residential substance use disorder (SUD) treatment facilities throughout the state as part of the Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Expansion Project, $3.5 million to 23 organizations through the Tribal and Urban Indian Community-Defined Best Practices (TUICDBP) program, and $1.05 million to seven organizations through the California Native MAT Network for Healing and Recovery.

“The opioid addiction crisis continues to have devastating impacts on the mental and physical well-being of those directly impacted, and also on our families, communities, and state. These awards provide vital tools to strengthen the ability of people to sustain recovery,” said DHCS Director Michelle Baass.

MAT EXPANSION PROJECT: The California MAT Expansion Project increases access to MAT, reduces unmet treatment needs, and reduces opioid overdose-related deaths through the provision of prevention, treatment, and recovery activities. MAT is the use of medications in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, which are used together to treat opioid use disorder (OUD). Including MAT in an individual’s treatment at a residential treatment facility can help those with OUD achieve long-term recovery. For more information, please visit the DHCS website.

Twenty facilities are receiving awards to implement, expand, and/or provide technical assistance on MAT from May 16, 2023, through June 30, 2025. Grantees include facilities that will receive bridge funding to support start-up costs for the initial implementation of MAT, facilities that will receive funding to expand their existing MAT services, and an organization that will act as a “Center of Excellence” to provide mentorship, technical assistance, and training to other facilities or projects funded through this opportunity. The funding application was made available to all California nonprofit, DHCS-licensed residential SUD treatment facilities to increase the number of facilities offering onsite MAT services

BACKGROUND: In 2018, Governor Newsom signed into law Senate Bill 992 to allow individuals with OUD receiving MAT to be admitted to a residential treatment facility. To further boost the availability of prescribed MAT in California, in 2022, the Governor enacted SB 184, which requires treatment facilities to either offer MAT directly to patients or have an effective referral process in place with narcotic treatment programs, community health centers, or other MAT providers.

ADDITIONAL GRANT AWARDS: DHCS also awarded $3.5 million to 23 organizations through the TUICDBP program, and $1.05 million to seven organizations through the California Native MAT Network for Healing and Recovery (Native MAT Network).


This funding opportunity will support best-practice knowledge exchange to enhance services for the prevention, treatment, and recovery of OUD and other co-occurring SUDs in tribal and urban Indian communities. Multiple examples of culture-based and community-based approaches developed by tribal and urban Indian communities exist across the state and country. These efforts are often driven by community desperation to create culturally meaningful care for Native people and are developed with few financial resources. The TUICDBP program design will help to identify and engage local tribal and urban Indian cultural knowledge keepers as core resources for the development of culture-driven substance use prevention, treatment, recovery and harm reduction services.

Twenty-three organizations are receiving awards to implement the program from May 1, 2023, through May 31, 2024. Grantees include California organizations and entities with demonstrated knowledge of the tribal and or urban Indian experience, the strengths and healing capacity of cultural and traditional community-defined best practices, and the need for inclusion of those practices as key components of substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery.

Native MAT Network

The Native MAT Network program’s goal is to assist California tribal and urban Indian health programs to develop, implement, sustain, and enhance MAT services for opioid addiction through funding, technical assistance, and peer knowledge exchange. The program emphasizes the healing role of culture in engagement, treatment, and recovery.

“By embracing culturally competent MAT services, we create a bridge of understanding that allows us to connect with individuals and communities in a meaningful way, fostering trust and opening the door for them to seek and receive the treatment services they need to thrive,” said Marlies Perez, Chief of DHCS’ Community Services Division.

This funding opportunity will support California tribal and urban Indian health organizations that reflect the racial, ethnic, and cultural community they intend to serve, and have the capacity to develop culturally responsive MAT services that are tailored to their population of focus. Seven tribal and urban health organizations are receiving awards to develop, enhance, and sustain MAT and/or stimulant use disorder services from May 1, 2023, through May 31, 2024. The TUICDBP program and Native MAT Network are funded by the State Opioid Response III grant awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and are part of the California MAT Expansion Project.

ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND: Governor Gavin Newsom has dedicated more than $1 billion in funding to fight the opioid crisis by removing opioids from the streets; providing resources to communities in need; reducing individual and community stigma surrounding people who use drugs and who seek care and treatment services; and increasing education and awareness to prevent opioid addiction and death. Of the state’s overall investment, DHCS is investing more than $450 million in various opioid prevention and treatment grant activities in fiscal year 202223. DHCS recently collaborated with national nonprofit Shatterproof to launch a substance use disorder treatment finder to help keep Californians safe and provide recovery resources to those in need.