Reducing the adverse health and social consequences of substance use disorders by strengthening prevention, early diagnosis, and prompt access to effective treatment.
Substance use disorders (SUD) are chronic medical illnesses that can be devastating for families and communities, and create high demands on health care, criminal justice, and social services. In community health assessments carried out by local health departments across the state, SUDs are the most frequently listed high-priority health issue. In a 2017 report, we found that Montana’s health care system is severely under capacity for coping with these illnesses: only six percent of Montanans with a SUD currently receive treatment and the state has one of the nation’s lowest rates of medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders.
In partnership with state, tribal, and local agencies and communities, we announced a major, multi-year commitment to address this problem. The Substance Use Disorder Prevention and Treatment Initiative will make investments in the five Opportunities for Action which were endorsed by state leadership at the Montana Substance Use Disorder Summit held on Nov 7, 2017.
Our investments for this initiative will center on activating the primary care system to care for SUD, and increasing the use of evidence-based prevention programs. We emphasize projects that will build SUD screening and treatment into practices that are working to integrate primary care and behavioral health services, as well as those that will improve SUD outcomes through partnerships between criminal justice, corrections, and health care. Under this initiative, grant funding is available for specific projects and decisions will be based on our general selection criteria. Specific projects that will be considered for funding under this initiative include:
- Adding outpatient SUD services to non-profit primary care practices, hospital-based practices, and federally qualified health centers through partnerships or expansion of scope.
- Offering medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in integrated behavioral health settings.
- Creating criminal justice and corrections agency-led programs to divert people with SUD to treatment.
- Enhancing the continuum of care provided by SUD providers by adding peer support services.
- Implementing screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) in primary care and hospital settings.
If you are interested in applying for grant funding under this initiative, please contact our office.
Designing an Effective Crisis System
Crisis systems help communities more effectively meet the needs of individuals experiencing behavioral health crises related to mental illness or substance use disorders. By providing timely access to behavioral health services, an effective crisis system improves outcomes and helps avoid unnecessary emergency department visits and justice system involvement.
We are committed to helping communities design and implement effective crisis systems. In partnership with the DPHHS Addictive and Mental Disorders Division, we developed a series of learning sessions and materials that go over the components of an effective crisis system and help guide implementation.