#FundingFriday: Federal Grants Addressing the Ongoing Opioid Epidemic in the US

Opioid abuse and addition have developed to epidemic proportions in the United States.

“In 2014, more than 28,000 people died from opioid overdose, and at least half of those deaths involved a prescription opioid. Many more became addicted to prescription and illegal opioids,” reads an article on the opioid epidemic on the website of the Department of Health and Human Services.

The following recent grant opportunities highlight the range of U.S. government agencies and programs currently addressing the opioid epidemic:

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1. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health – Marijuana, Prescription Opioid, or Prescription Benzodiazepine Drug Use Among Older Adults (R01)

Despite significant scientific advancements made in substance use disorder research over the last century, the causes and consequences of drug use in later life remain poorly understood. The intent of this funding opportunity announcement is to support innovative research that examines aspects of marijuana and prescription opioid and benzodiazepine use in adults aged 50 and older. This Funding Opportunity Announcement encourages research that examines the determinants of these types of drug use and/or characterizes the resulting neurobiological alterations, associated behaviors, and public health consequences. This initiative will focus on two distinct populations of older adults: individuals with earlier onset of drug use who are now entering this stage of adult development or individuals who initiate drug use after the age of 50.

2. Corporation for National and Community Service – 2017 AmeriCorps State and National Grants – Targeted Priority

AmeriCorps grants are awarded to eligible organizations proposing to engage AmeriCorps members in evidence-based or evidence-informed interventions to strengthen communities. An AmeriCorps member is an individual who engages in community service through an approved national service position. Members may receive a living allowance and other benefits while serving. Upon successful completion of their service, members earn a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award from the National Service Trust that members can use to pay for higher education expenses or apply to qualified student loans. This competition is for applicants proposing to engage AmeriCorps members in the following two areas: Healthy Futures – Reducing and/or Preventing Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse and Safer Communities – Strengthening law enforcement and community relations.

3. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) – BJA FY 17 Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Site-based Program

From the Full Announcement on the Bureau of Justice Assistance website: “The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) is seeking applications to plan and implement comprehensive strategies in response to the growing opioid epidemic. This program furthers the Department’s mission by providing resources to state, local, and tribal governments to intervene with persons with substance use disorders.”

4. Department of Defense (DoD) – DoD US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC) FY17 Broad Agency Announcement for Extramural Medical Research

The USAMRMC mission is to provide solutions to medical problems of importance to the American Service member at home and abroad, as well as to the general public at large. The scope of this effort and the priorities attached to specific projects are influenced by changes in military and civilian medical science and technology, operational requirements, military threat assessments, and national defense strategies.

5. Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – Search and Rescue Peer-to-Peer Opioids Prescriber Education Campaign

In line with the FDA Opioids Action Plan and the agency’s broad strategy to take concrete steps to help combat this national drug epidemic and reduce the impact of opioid abuse on American families and communities, the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Office of Communications (CDER/OCOMM) seeks to further the goals of the Search and Rescue opioid prescriber education campaign of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids (PDFK), whose goal is to reduce opioid abuse and misuse.