DHCS Awards $1.75 Million to Train Providers on Substance Use Disorders

SACRAMENTO — The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) today awarded $1.75 million to 25 programs through the California Residency Program Collaborative Project. This collaborative will advance the training of primary care doctors in the field of substance use disorders (SUD), including stimulants and opioids. The training will also improve the patient care experience and promote patient-centric and evidence-based care.

“We must equip physicians in California with skills to recognize, diagnose, and treat substance use disorders. This project continues to give residency programs the tools they need to make this a reality,” said DHCS Director Michelle Baass.

WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT: The project is improving education, outreach, and treatment for patients with SUDs and opioid use disorders (OUD), with a particular focus on serving vulnerable populations, promoting harm reduction, addressing fentanyl, and increasing Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) services. MAT is the use of medications in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, which are effective in the treatment of OUDs and can help some people sustain recovery.

Twenty-five entities are receiving awards to help provide MAT services to implement the project from January 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024. Grantees include accredited residency programs (by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education) that train physicians in emergency medicine, family medicine, general internal medicine, obstetrics-gynecology, pediatrics, and psychiatry. This project helps transform the practices of multiple physician specialties and their care teams and improve patient care in SUD/OUD and addiction.

ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND: The SUD training is funded by the State Opioid Response III grant awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. It’s part of DHCS’ broader efforts to address SUD, collectively known as the California MAT Expansion Project, to increase access to MAT, reduce unmet treatment need, and reduce opioid overdose-related deaths through the provision of prevention, treatment, and recovery activities. For more information, please visit the DHCS California MAT Expansion Project Overview webpage.

Since coming into office, 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 California communities in need, and increasing education and awareness to prevent harm in the first place.

In fiscal year 2022-23, DHCS is investing more than $558 million in various opioid prevention and treatment grant activities. Today’s awards continue efforts by DHCS in recent months to tackle SUDs/OUDs, including $12 million to 44 programs through the California Youth Opioid Response project, and $9.6 million to 28 entities through the Low-Barrier Opioid Treatment at Syringe Services Programs project$4.6 million to emergency departments to train behavioral health navigators$2.4 million for the MAT in Jails and Drug Courts Project$2 million for the California Native MAT Network for Healing and Recovery Project$4 million to 54 driving under the influence programs for resources and treatment, and $52 million invested in opioid prevention and treatment services.