October 2017 – The Minnesota Department of Human Services (MDHS) has contracted with The Policy & Research Group (PRG) to provide an implementation and outcome evaluation of a program that seeks to expand access for persons with opioid use disorder to receive Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) within high need communities. The program is funded by a three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
Focusing on communities experiencing high rates and disparities in opioid overdose, MDHS aims to expand access to MAT within three high need communities: the White Earth Nation, Red Lake Band of Chippewa and Ojibwe communities, and African American communities in the Twin Cities metro area. The objective of the program is to decrease illicit opioid drug use and decrease use of prescription opioids in a non-prescribed manner in partnership with existing MAT providers through expansion of access to and implementation of MAT, integrated care, and peer recovery support services.
In collaboration with MDHS, PRG will assess the implementation of the program and analyze client outcomes. PRG will produce regular reports that will give MDHS leaders a formative assessment of how well the intervention is realizing its implementation objectives. PRG will also report annually on client-level outcomes targeted by the program.
SAMHSA works to initiate and increase public health efforts to advance behavioral health in the United States by reducing the impact of substance abuse and mental illness. Through the Targeted Capacity Expansion: Medication Assisted Treatment – Prescription Drug and Opioid Addiction (MAT-PDOA) funding program, SAMHSA aims to expand/enhance access to MAT services for persons with an opioid use disorder seeking or receiving MAT. This program targets states identified with having the highest rates of primary treatment admissions for heroin and opioids per capita and includes those states with the most dramatic increases for heroin and opioids
PRG is committed to the development of effective public policy through the production of rigorous research and evaluation. PRG works with federal, state, and local partners in the development and evaluation of programs that aim to improve social, behavioral, health, economic, and employment potential. Since 2004, PRG has developed expertise across an array of policy areas including education, public health, child welfare, work and income, housing, and adolescent risk reduction.
MAT-PDOA supports the goals of SAMHSA’s Strategic Initiative on Prevention of Substance Abuse and Mental Illness which promotes and implements prevention and early intervention strategies to reduce the impact of mental health and substance use disorders in America’s communities. This initiative includes a focus on several high-risk populations including transition-age youth; college students; American Indian/Alaska Natives; ethnic minorities experiencing health and behavioral health disparities; service members, veterans, and their families; and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals.