Newport, Rhode Island is Getting Money from the White House for Addiction Treatment
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of the United States stated today that the final version of the American Rescue Plan, which the Senate approved over the weekend, includes significant financing for mental and behavioral health care.
Whitehouse pushed for the cash to combat Rhode Island’s growing overdose issue.
“Pandemic-related isolation and stress have presented new challenges for many Rhode Islanders, especially those walking the long, noble road of recovery,” said Whitehouse in a statement. “I was pleased to help deliver additional resources to bolster mental health and substance use treatment in Rhode Island as demand for those services remains high.”
The American Rescue Plan consists of the following elements:
- SAMHSA Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (SAPT) Block Grants are worth $1.5 billion. Based on the SAPT financing methodology, the Whitehouse Office predicts that Rhode Island will receive $3-4 million. This money goes to the state, which then distributes it to local governments and community organizations to help with treatment and prevention.
- $80 million goes to a new grant program for community-based and mental health groups around the country. Organizations in Rhode Island will be able to apply for the awards directly. The funds will be used to expand access to medication-assisted treatment for substance abuse, provide workforce training for behavioral health professionals, and provide telemedicine treatment services.
- Certified Community Behavioral health clinics will receive $420 million. This authorization will allow Rhode Island providers who are currently enrolled in the program to apply for another round of financing. Thrive Behavioral Health, Newport Mental Health, Horizon Healthcare Partner Community Care Alliance, and their partners are among such organizations.
According to the Senator’s office, he has led the drive in Congress to combat the national opioid addiction issue for years. Whitehouse was a co-author of the groundbreaking bipartisan Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, which was passed into law in 2016 and provides a framework for the federal response to the opioid epidemic.
The opioid and drug use problem prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation landscape has changed substantially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic’s nature has increased social isolation and stress while reducing access to treatment and harm-reduction resources, with serious consequences for people who are addicted. According to campaigners, more than 400 people died from overdoses in Rhode Island in 2020, setting a new low.
The American Rescue Plan is expected to pass the House of Representatives this week before being sent to Vice President Joe Biden’s desk.
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