The Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics received $325,000 of federal grant funding to combat opioid abuse.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded the funding through its Substance Abuse Service Expansion Awards program. The HHS has issued $94 million in grants to 271 health centers throughout the country to expand substance abuse services.
Opioid abuse and fatal overdoses, which include painkillers like oxycodone and hydrocodone, have drastically increased nationwide over the past several years. What begins as a means to treat pain can lead to addiction. When supply or money runs out, many turn to cheaper options like heroin.
The Center for Disease Control is now advising doctors to use treatment other than opioids for chronic pain.
“The opioid epidemic is one of the most pressing public health issues in the United States today,” HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell said in a news release. “Expanding access to medication-assisted treatment and integrating these services in health centers bolsters nationwide efforts to curb opioid misuse and abuse, supports approximately 124,000 new patients accessing substance use treatment for recovery and helps save lives.”
The neighborhood clinics are a nonprofit safety net that serve the area’s low-income and uninsured residents. Its four medical clinics, two dental offices and health education and preventative care serve more than 70,000 annual patient visits.
Contact Alex Kacik at [email protected]