Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 1 Hears Budget Issues Related to SUD Treatment and Prevention

On Monday, the Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 1 on Health and Human Services heard budget issues related to substance use disorder treatment and prevention both under the oversight of the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

CDPH was asked to provide the Legislature with an update on the naloxone funding provided to the department in the 2016 Budget Act. Recall, last year’s Budget Act appropriated $3 million in one-time General Fund to CDPH to purchase and distribute naloxone to local health departments and community-based organizations to prevent opioid overdose deaths. Dr. Karen Smith, CDPH Director, highlighted the distribution of funding, $2.7 million of which went directly to purchasing naloxone and for local administrative costs and $300,000 to support the CDPH’s administrative costs. She noted distributions to local health departments were determined based on need using the average number of deaths resulting from opioid overdoses.

Dr. Smith also shared that their decision to purchase in bulk through the Department of General Services resulted in cost savings and allowed for CDPH to purchase a greater supply for distribution. According to her testimony, roughly 60 local health departments have accepted the naloxone grants, with about 20 jurisdictions opting to forego any administrative cost reimbursement, again to ensure a greater supply. To date, approximately 46 local health departments have received just under 40,000 doses and eight local health departments will soon be receiving roughly 2,000 doses. No action was taken on the item.