About the Program
The Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program (COSSAP), formerly the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Program (COAP), was developed as part of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) legislation.
COSSAP’s 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.
While the opioid epidemic has dominated headlines, communities throughout the nation have been impacted by diverse drug use patterns including stimulants and other illicit substances. Our nation’s substance abuse problem is a public health emergency that threatens the wellbeing of individuals who abuse drugs and impacts the safety of communities. It is impacting first responders, the criminal justice system, child welfare and foster care, and behavioral health systems. Responding to this health emergency is one of DOJ’s top priorities.
The cornerstone of BJA’s COSSAP initiative is its emphasis on partnership and collaboration across the public health, behavioral health, and public safety sectors. Effective community responses leverage the combined expertise of each of these disciplines and rely upon unified and coordinated strategies.
COSSAP is committed to supporting four key areas of programmatic focus.
- Promoting public safety and supporting access to recovery services in the criminal justice system.
- Strengthening the collection and sharing of data across systems to understand and address the impact of illicit substance use and misuse.
- Align and maximize resources across systems and leverage diverse program funding.
- Prevent substance use and misuse.
Site-based grants are released annually and provide funding opportunities for both states and territories as well as local and tribal communities. COSSAP funding is designed to be flexible, allowing each community to address its unique needs and respond to emerging threats that may be local or regional in nature.
In FY 2018, BJA and various partners launched demonstration projects that strategically blend funding from multiple Federal agencies and promote public-philanthropic partnerships. These demonstration projects strengthen our understanding of effective community responses to illicit substance use and misuse, expand adoption of effective practices and support innovation, and build capacity in those communities most impacted by substance use disorder.
- National Initiative to Expand Opioid Use Disorder Treatment in Jails: Building Bridges Between Jails and Community-Based Treatment
- Overdose Detection and Mapping Application Program (ODMAP) Statewide Expansion and Response
- Partnerships to Support Data-driven Responses to Emerging Drug Threats
- Rural Responses to the Opioid Epidemic
The COSSAP TTA Program supports communities by:
- Facilitating peer-to-peer learning opportunities in which communities can learn from experienced programs through virtual consultations and on-site visits.
- Providing speakers for conferences and workshops or skilled subject-matter experts for training events to educate stakeholders and build capacity.
- Facilitating strategic and cross-system planning to identify community resources, establish priorities, and develop a road map to achieving goals.
- Identifying materials such as policies and procedures, guidelines, and data sharing agreements that support program activities.
- Supporting PDMPs by increasing PDMP efficiencies and facilitating coordination between PDMPs and state and national stakeholders.
The resources provided are offered to assist potential applicants in applying for future COSSAP funding. Please refer to the grant's funding opportunity announcement for specific details regarding eligibility, content and formatting requirements, submission instructions, required supporting documentation, and more.
In the past 3 years, BJA has funded over 300 projects. The types of activities funded under the grant program, in past solicitations, includes:
- Establish pre-arrest or post-arrest law enforcement or other first-responder diversion programs for individuals who commit low level, non-violent, drug-related offenses to community-based substance abuse and behavioral health services. Jurisdictions seeking to replicate a branded model of law enforcement diversion, such as the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) model or Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (PAARI), should familiarize themselves with the goals and core principles of the model and reflect these concepts in their applications. BJA supports a wide variety of diversion models that promote public safety and public health collaboration. OJP anticipates a minimum of $5 million in COAP funds will be used to support communities seeking to replicate the LEAD model per Congressional report language.
- Support law enforcement agencies in identifying individuals in need of substance abuse treatment services and connecting these individuals to treatment services. A variety of approaches may be proposed including embedding substance abuse clinicians into patrol units or increasing a law enforcement agency’s analytic capability by hiring data analysts or epidemiologists. In areas where human trafficking is prevalent, law enforcement agencies may propose projects to strengthen the connection between human trafficking taskforces and substance abuse treatment providers.
- Develop programs that embed social services with law enforcement in order to rapidly respond to opioid overdoses where children are impacted. Examples of services that may be included are: Co-locating staff to assist with screening, assessment, referral, and/or the provision of services to children and families impacted by substance abuse; Implementing a combination of evidence-based or evidence-informed programs and practices, including parenting and/or family strengthening, treatment for trauma or mental health problems, counseling and peer support groups, and child development services designed to support children and youth exposed to drug use and their caregivers; Developing specialized training to first responders, victim service providers, and child protective services professionals to ensure that there is an established process/protocol to follow when encountering a child or youth affected by overdose or in a home where the child is exposed to substance abuse; Supporting cross-system collaborative activities (e.g., multidisciplinary training, regular partnership meetings) to increase understanding among the different service systems about issues facing families involved in child protective services due to a parent’s substance abuse; and, Providing training and information on resources to child and youth-serving organizations, such as schools, athletic leagues and faith-based organizations, on the impact of substance abuse on children, youth, and families.
- Connect individuals at risk for overdose and/or survivors of a non-fatal overdose and their families with substance abuse and behavioral health treatment providers or peer recovery support providers trained in addiction support and recovery. “Peers” may include, but are not limited to, peer mentors, peer navigators, forensic peers, and family members of those in recovery.
- Provide transitional or recovery housing as part of a comprehensive response strategy. No more than 30 percent of total grant funds may be used for this purpose.
- Establish court-based intervention programs or family court programming to prioritize and expedite treatment and recovery services to individuals at high risk for overdose. Funding is available under other BJA solicitations to implement or enhance an adult drug court and/or a veteran treatment court. As such, implementing or enhancing these court models is not an allowable funding activity under this solicitation.
- Develop, implement, or enhance programs to address the opioid epidemic in rural or tribal communities. Applicants may use technology to expand access to treatment and recovery support services for individuals who abuse illicit and prescription opioids and have limited access to treatment and recovery services due to geographic isolation.
- Purchase and distribute tamper-proof drug-collection boxes and other federally approved controlled substance collection and permanent disposal programs.
- Develop and implement a comprehensive plan to reduce the risk of overdose death and enhance treatment and recovery service engagement among the pretrial and post-trial populations leaving jails or secure residential treatment facilities. This includes implementing medication-assisted treatment and cognitive behavioral treatment within a local or regional jail and supporting the transition to community-based services once released from custody. Applicants must demonstrate strong coordination between in-custody and community-based treatment as part of the application.
- Implement an overdose fatality review team (that includes representation from medical examiner or coroner offices) and/or support multidisciplinary intervention models such as New York City’s RxStat Program to bring together stakeholders with different perspectives and different data sets.
- Support the timely collection of data and/or data integration with other data sets (such as PDMP records) to provide an understanding of drug trends, support program evaluation, inform clinical decision making, identify at-risk individuals or populations, or support investigations. Examples of data sources may include medical examiner and coroner offices, forensic science laboratories, crime scene units (such as data related to the analysis of suspected controlled substances and toxicology analysis), or other novel sources of information such as testing used needles from syringe exchange programs to understand the current local drug supply.
- Implement other comprehensive approaches that align with the objectives of COAP.
Examples of Successful Applications from Past Years
These samples are project narratives from previously funded projects. They are provided for reference to assist in preparation of a funding application.