Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $6,000,000)
The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) proposes Mississippi COSSAP Advanced Response Enhancement System (MCARES). Consistent with COSSAP’s Category 2 goals, MCARES will enhance real-time response to illicit substance use and misuse; reduce overdose fatalities; promote rapid response; and support access to prevention, treatment, and recovery. MCARES will mitigate the effects of opioids, stimulants, and other substances by delivering initiatives that collectively identify, respond to, treat, and support those locally impacted at the community level while ameliorating racial and health inequities. This three-pronged approach of demand reduction, harm reduction, and supply reduction ensures a holistic initiative, one that while directed at the state level, simultaneously enlists and enhances local capabilities to sustain these efforts beyond the project’s timeframe.
MCARES seeks priority consideration for 1(A), which is documented on page 2 of the Project Narrative. Guided by MSDH, the applicant agency, MCARES will be implemented statewide. Attention will be focused on counties or county clusters within the state that have a documented record of elevated vulnerability to the impacts of opioids, stimulants, and other illicit drugs. MCARES will select six community-based organizations within six of the nine Mississippi public safety districts to direct the community-based response, prioritizing areas of high need through a data-driven process in which multiple years of fatal and nonfatal overdose death rates will be carefully analyzed along with other indicators to create community risk profiles.
MCARES goals conform to the following COSSAP Category 2 allowable uses: (1) comprehensive, real-time, regional information collection, analysis, and dissemination that promote the use of data for both efficient and effective planning and response to overdoses and emerging drug trends (35% of total budget); (2) expansion of naloxone distribution for first responders and direct distribution to end users (e.g., individuals experiencing a drug overdose) (10% of total budget); and (3) evidence-based substance use disorder treatment related to opioids, stimulants, and other illicit drugs, including medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and harm reduction activities (20% of total budget). To attain these goals, MCARES will implement activities to achieve the following outcomes: development and implementation of a state-level overdose spike response framework to guide transportable response units in rapid local response efforts; transportable response units to provide a concerted, collaborative rapid response to communities experiencing a drug overdose spike, based on real-time surveillance data received by MSDH; expanded naloxone access to individuals suffering from a nonfatal overdose; and increased MOUD for under-insured and uninsured Mississippians.