Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $1,199,424)
The Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program (COSSAP) was developed as part of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) legislation. COSSAPs purpose is to provide financial and technical assistance to states, units of local government, and Indian tribal governments to develop, implement, or expand comprehensive efforts to identify, respond to, treat, and support those impacted by illicit opioids, stimulants, and other drugs of abuse.
The objective of Category 1 is to encourage and support the development of comprehensive, locally driven responses to opioids, stimulants, and other substances that expand access to supervision, treatment, and recovery support services across the criminal justice system; support law enforcement and other first responder diversion programs for nonviolent drug offenders; promote education and prevention activities; and address the needs of children impacted by substance abuse.
This project will take place in Dallas County, population 2.6 million, the 2nd largest county in Texas and the 8th largest county in the U.S. The program will (1) hire a program manager to develop a strategic plan for handling opioid-involved individuals upon entry into jail and continuing throughout the criminal justice system; (2) hire a clinical assessor to provide consistent recommendations for treatment; (3) fund evidence-based residential treatment, transitional housing, and Narcan; and (4) provide ongoing analysis of the program. Dr. Jennifer Gonzalez of the Meadows Mental Health and Policy Institute will serve as the projects research partner. Priority considerations addressed in this application include (1) high rates of overdose deaths and (2) high rates of primary treatment admissions for heroin or other opioids.