We are facing a crisis of opioid addiction and overdoses in the U.S. and in Texas. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the rate of drug overdose deaths involving opioids in the country increased from 2.1 per 100,000 people in 1999 to 8.8 per 100,000 people in 2014. Texas had a lower overdose death rate than the national average, but overdose deaths increased rapidly in Texas too, from 1.5 to 4.2 per 100,000 people in the same time period. 


The Texas Targeted Opioid Response grant (TTOR) aims to increase efforts in the prevention and treatment of substance use disorders, specifically prescription drug and illicit opioid dependence. The grant will be used for prevention, training, outreach, treatment and recovery support services over a two-year period. HHSC estimates the grant will directly impact 14,000 people across the state.


TTOR funds will focus on populations at risk for opioid use disorders: people who live in major metropolitan areas, women who are pregnant and postpartum, and people who have a history of prescription opioid misuse. The grant will also target people who may be at an increased risk of developing an opioid use disorder, including people being treated for chronic pain, veterans, and people who live in rural areas with high rates of opioid use. HHSC plans to expand opioid prevention and treatment services through its existing providers and recruit new providers to expand the provider network, including Local Mental Health and Behavioral Health Authorities and new contracts with university partners.


The extent of the opioid epidemic in Texas is currently difficult to accurately measure, but regardless of Texas’ precise ranking, it needs attention to ensure people are receiving the health care they need. Those in need of mental health and substance use disorder treatment services need access to long-term sustainable treatments and supports. Additionally, it is important to remember that substance use disorder needs to extend beyond opioid addiction, and to avoid making access to treatment for Texans experiencing addiction dependent on which drug they use.

Are you in need of TTOR services? CHANGE Happens! is here to help. For more information about the TTOR program please contact  713-374-1221 or info@changehappenstx.org.