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Georgia's response to opioid crisis -- Part 1

POSTED: August 1, 2018 1:28 p.m.

Addiction recovery support centers
Fiscal year 2019 began for Georgia on July first. And Georgia, like other states, is facing an opioid use disorder epidemic. So, in an effort to address this and all other substance misuse disorders, the FY2019 state budget includes $12.4 million in new state general funds to support initiatives that appear as line items across multiple areas of the budget. One of these new initiatives is $4 million in new funding to provide substance abuse recovery programs for service delivery through community service boards and local partners.

Swift action to implement
The House and Senate passed the budget for FY 2019 (HB 684) in the waning days of the 2018 Session at the end of March. Governor Deal signed it into law on May 2nd. Right away, the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD), the state agency charged with implementing this new grant funding for recovery centers, created the criteria for selecting winning bids for such funding. Notice to apply for grants was sent out on May 16th and the deadline for submissions was May 31, 2018. The subsequent contracts awarded will be in effect September 1, 2018-August 31, 2019.

An enthusiastic response
Requests to submit were sent to the 25 Community Services Boards (CSBs) and also to organizations known to the state through their work with Georgia Council on Substance Abuse. Each of the organizations invited are experienced in this type of service delivery, but only 16 of the 23 proposals that were submitted were selected for a grant award. The total budget of all the submissions amounted to $6,142,360 in requests for funding, for the $4 million available at this time.

The grant recipients
Ultimately, 6 CSBs and 10 organizations recommended by Georgia Council on Substance Abuse were selected. Each provider was selected based on their expertise in the field, their ability to leverage local community support and in-kind contributions, and their ability to quickly submit a quality submission package. Consideration was also given to geography, local need, and currently deployment of already existing funding.
Each grantee will receive limited implementation funding and cost reimbursement each month. The grant awards vary, but the ceiling for the funding amount was approximately $250,000 per award. Pineland CSB is an awardee.

New position to
monitor contracts
In order to oversee and implement this new project of Addiction Recovery Support Centers, DBHDD Office of Addictive Diseases, is seeking qualified candidates for the position of AD Recovery Support Program Specialist. This position would monitor the contracts and work to ensure outcomes that improve treatments.
Among the usual job requirements of possessing the relevant education and experience, the ideal candidate for this role must also be CARES certified (Certified Addiction Recovery Empowerment Specialist). The CARES program was developed by the Georgia Council on Substance Abuse to create a workforce of peers to provide recovery support services to the communities of Georgia. A CARES peer is trained to advocate for their own recovery and for the recovery of their peers in the recovery community. The CARES program is one grounded in the principles of evidence-based service delivery, which is exactly what the Georgia General Assembly directed in its line language of HB 684.
More information about the AD Recovery Support Program Specialist opening can be found here:

Tracking the success of DBHDD’S efforts
It will be interesting to note the results and outcomes of these recovery efforts.

I may be reached at
234 State Capitol, Atlanta , GA 30334
(404) 656-5038 (phone)
(404) 657-7094 (fax)
E-mail at
Or Call Toll-Free at
1-800-367-3334 Day or Night
Reidsville office: (912) 557-3811


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