RESOURCES: SAMHSA Region II: Weekly News Digest

Subject: SAMHSA Region II: Weekly News Digest
Date: April 25, 2022 at 9:52:24 AM EDT

Dear Colleagues and Partners,

Once again, the SAMHSA Regional Office is pleased to bring you another SAMHSA Region II: Weekly News Digest summarizing resources and information that may be of interest to you.  This News Digest includes the following topics:

  • Important Announcements
  • Helpful Documents/Links
  • SAMHSA Resources & Technical Assistance Centers
  • Upcoming Webinars & Podcasts
  • Funding Opportunities
  • Articles

Please don’t forget to read about the $105 million HHS awarded to states and territories to strengthen crisis call center services for the launch of 988!

Important Announcements

  • This past Friday, the White House released a 2022 National Drug Control Strategy, laser focused on untreated addiction and drug trafficking in our communities. It remains clear that the opioid epidemic remains a high priority during this Administration. Please click here to access the report and fact sheet.
  • On April 26 at 2pm ET, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra will be joining The Kennedy Forum for a timely discussion about expanding access to mental health and addiction treatment coverage. Also in attendance will be Dr. Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use; former U.S. Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy; Immediate Past President of AMA, Dr. Patrice Harris; and President & CEO of the National Association for Behavioral Healthcare, Shawn Coughlin. Learn more and register here. Also check out this clip on Mental Health Parity: The New Frontier of Civil Rights.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through its Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), is awarding nearly $105 million in grant funding, provided by the American Rescue Plan, to 54 states and territories in advance of the transition of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline  from the current 10-digit number to the 988 three-digit dialing code  in July. Strengthening our crisis care infrastructure is a core priority of President Biden’s Mental Health Strategy, which he announced at the State of the Union as part of his national Unity Agenda. As part of these efforts, SAMHSA has also collaborated with national partners to create playbooks and other guidance documents 
  •  to assess and improve the operational readiness of these critical groups to support implementation of 988. 

To drive unified national communication about 988, SAMHSA is adding more communication materials and products to its 988 Partner Toolkit, including logo and brand guidelines, radio PSA scripts, and a sample e-newsletter. As the transition to 988 in July approaches, SAMHSA will add more 988 tools and resources, like short, shareable videos and sample social media posts to support partner communication planning efforts. These are available on the SAMHSA 988 web page. View full release here and feel free to pass on attached PDF to your networks.

  • Biden drug control plan stresses harm reduction, treatment | AP News:  The strategy, released Thursday, is the first national plan to prioritize what’s known as harm reduction, said White House drug czar Dr. Rahul Gupta. That means it focuses on preventing death and illness in drug users while trying to engage them in care and treatment. “All too often, these drugs wind up in communities where naloxone isn’t readily available,” Gupta said Wednesday, referring to the medication that can revive users who have overdosed, “where harm reduction services are restricted or underfunded, where there are unacceptable barriers to treatment.”  View the full National Drug Control Strategy and Fact Sheet
  • Grants to Expand Substance Abuse Treatment Capacity in Adult and Family Treatment Drug Courts: The purpose of this program is to expand substance use disorder (SUD) treatment and recovery support services in existing drug courts. The program recognizes the need for treatment instead of incarceration for individuals with SUDs.
    • SAMHSA plans to issue up to 15 awards of up to $400,000 per year for up to 5 years.
    • Application Due Date: Monday, May 9, 2022

Helpful Documents/Links:

  • DOJ Division of Civil Rights rec recently released new ADA guidance on Opioid Use Disorder:
    • Here is the link for the guidance

    • and the press release

  • Older Adult Survey Announcement – Please Share With Your Networks

Working under contract with PCORI, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance and the National Network of Depression Centers have created the Older Adult Survey for People Living with Depression and Chronic Physical Health Condition(s), which is designed to uncover topics for future research. When you take this 10–14-minute anonymous survey, your responses will become part of collective input used to compare what people like yourself share are your concerns about living with depression and chronic physical health condition(s) and ongoing or past research projects on this topic. Click here to take the survey

The survey results will be the foundation for a report made available to researchers and the organizations which fund their work. As a result, there is the potential that future research dollars will be used to address topics you identified.   The survey is open to any adult age 60 or over, or their caregiver living with depression and chronic physical health condition(s). Please complete today and forward to other older adults and their caregivers. The deadline to complete the survey is May 30. 

   This study examined trends of the 7 U.S. Food and Drug Administration–approved prescription medications for smoking cessation during 2009−2019 (before and during Affordable Care Act implementation), including fill counts and spending (total and patient, adjusted to 2019 U.S. dollars), among U.S. adults aged ≥18 years.

    Total fills and spending decreased from 2009 to 2013 and then increased through 2019, whereas patient spending decreased. Earlier studies suggest possible reasons for these trends, such as gradual implementation of federal requirements for insurance coverage of cessation medications and reduced cost sharing and financial barriers.  This article can be found online

    For more information on how you, as a health professional student or practicing clinician, can assist patients with quitting, visit Rx for Change: Clinician-Assisted Tobacco Cessation  to learn about this comprehensive tobacco cessation training program that advocates delivery of tailored behavioral counseling interventions in conjunction with pharmacotherapy. It addresses all forms of tobacco and focuses on counseling all patients—regardless of their readiness to quit.

SAMHSA Resources & Technical Assistance Centers:

   The Role of Prevention in Harm Reduction Efforts  More Information

 Upcoming Webinars:

  • Webinar: How to Develop a Competitive Grant Application: The Office of Financial Resources at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will be conducting a webinar on how to develop a competitive grant application. The webinar will be offered on Tuesday, May 3, 2022 at 2 pm (ET).

The webinar will address:

    • The three registration processes that need to be completed;
    • Preparing to apply for a grant;
    • Key components of the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO);
    • Responding effectively to the evaluation criteria;
    • Resources and technical assistance that are available.

Information on how to access the webinar can be found on the Training Events webpage. There is no need to pre-register. If you would like to receive the slides prior to the webinar, send an email | Read More

Funding Announcements

  • SAMHSA has released the NOFOs for the new ROTA-R and SORT/TOR-TA programs. Please notice some changes on the scope of these programs:

   Rural Opioid Technical Assistance Regional Centers (ROTA-R): The ROTA program will now become a Regional Program rather than isolated grant programs. Please notice that we will provide extra points for applicants that are USDA cooperative Extension Grantees or applicants that are partnering with Cooperative Extension Grantees. You can read the full scope of this new grant program at

   State Opioid Response (SOR)/Tribal Opioid Response (TOR) Technical Assistance (SOR/TOR-TA): The new Opioid Response Network will now include specific assistance for the TOR grantees as well. The full announcement can be found here


Studies indicate that drinking can interfere with normal brain development1. Drinking is also associated with decreased school performance2, increased involvement with the legal system3, use of other substances4, and greater risk of injuries, including death from motor vehicle crashes.5

  • A new report from entitles, A Policy Equity Analysis of the Earned Income Tax Credit: Fully including children in immigrant families and Hispanic children in this key anti-poverty program, offers a comprehensive look at how to improve the EITC and significantly lower child poverty equitably by ensuring that children in immigrant families, many of whom are Hispanic, can fully access this program. This report builds on the landmark 2019 NASEM report A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty to present a policy equity analysis of the EITC, focusing on the unequal treatment of U.S. citizen children in immigrant families in the design, capacity and effectiveness of the program. We present new estimates of the poverty reducing effects of an increase of EITC benefits and changes in eligibility rules for families without Social Security numbers. Findings include increasing EITC benefits by 40% and extending eligibility to families without Social Security numbers would lift an additional 2.09 million children out of poverty—mainly Hispanic children and children in immigrant families, who have some of the highest poverty rates in the U.S. With this report, we aim to start a conversation on how to equitably expand the Earned Income Tax Credit to alleviate child poverty.

The application for this year’s grants is due May 27, 2022. If you know a student who might be interested in this opportunity, please pass this message along. 

 “My One Thing”

  • Creator of the award winning documentaries, The Anonymous People (Tom Coderre, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary, SAMHSA) and Generation Found, Greg Williams has a new project entitled:  Tipping the Pain Scale, a film following individuals grappling with the current systemic failures of how we have dealt with addiction in communities and their journey to develop and employ new, innovative, and often controversial solutions to the problem. It is a quasi-anthology, weaving characters through their own stories as they connect to the issues plaguing all communities and the country in an urgent fight to save lives. Visit the website to find a screening near you or to host one in your community. 

Thank you,

Dennis O. Romero, MA
Regional Administrator
Pronouns: He, Him, His
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services  (DHHS) – DHHS Region II
Jacob Javits Federal Building
26 Federal Plaza, Suite 3337
New York, NY 10278
Off.: (212) 264-8097
Website: /1-877-726-4727