Substance Use Initiatives

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Substance Use News at the League

League Convenes Primary Care Association SUD Roundtable

At the recent National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) Community Health Institute in Orlando, the League took the lead in partnering with NACHC and our sister agency at CHCANYS to convene and facilitate a Roundtable Discussion on substance use disorders (SUD). The intent of this initial gathering was to learn from Primary Care Associations across the county and share how each is responding to the challenges of SUD care delivery and the associated training and technical assistance needs of CHCs they support. Topics covered included creating leadership buy-in to develop and integrate services; moving the clinical dial through waiver training; creating data collection tools, patient registries, and quality measures; and creating partnerships with policy makers and payers among others. At the NACHC PCA & HCCN Conference, November 14-16 in New Orleans, the League, in partnership with NACHC and CHCANYS, will continue to support this learning collaboration to enhance PCA capacity to support training and technical assistance needs of CHCs as they innovate and respond to SUD in the communities they serve.

HRSA Awards $12,128,710 to 38 Massachusetts Health Centers for SUD and MH Services

On September 19, 2018, HRSA announced nearly $400 million in awards to health centers, academic institutions, and rural organizations to combat the opioid crisis in communities across the U.S. Expanding Access to Quality Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health Services (SUD-MH) awards: $352 million in funding will expand access to substance use disorder and mental health services at 1,232 community health centers across the nation. SUD-MH will expand access to integrated services by increasing personnel and enhancing infrastructure. Learn more about SUD-MH awards.

Substance Use Training & Capacity Building Opportunities

    Provider Clinical Support Systems (PCSS) - PCSS is a program funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) created in response to the opioid overdose epidemic to train primary care providers in the evidence-based prevention and treatment of opioid use disorders (OUD) and treatment of chronic pain. They offer a variety of online educational opportunities including Buprenorphine Waiver Training / DATA 2000 Waiver Training for physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. PCSS also provides clinical mentoring programs aimed at improving confidence and skills in preventing, identifying, and treating substance use disorders, opioid use disorders, and chronic pain. To learn more click HERE.
    American Society of Addiction Medicine - ASAM Trainings: - Founded in 1954, ASAM is a professional medical society representing over 5,500 physicians, clinicians, and associated professionals in the field of addiction medicine. ASAM is dedicated to increasing access and improving the quality of addiction treatment, educating physicians and the public, supporting research and prevention, and promoting the appropriate role of physicians in the care of patients with addiction. ASAM offers a variety of in-person and online educational opportunities, including larger national educational forums for in-depth knowledge transfer about SUD care. For more information on this and other ASAM courses, click HERE.

GE Foundation-funded SUSTAIN Communities Initiative

Background: As a response to the opioid overdose epidemic and part of a continued funding commitment by the GE Foundation, the League developed and launched a program in 2017, to support community health centers (CHC) in building recovery- informed environments for patients with opioid use disordersc (OUD). The initiative, called Substance Use Support & Technical Assistance IN Communities (SUSTAIN), seeks to expand the capacity of CHCs to treat OUD with evidence based approaches by engaging CHCs in a variety of training and technical assistance provided by League-contracted physician peer mentors, a risk rounds team development specialist from MGH/Partners Healthcare, and Project ECHO©, a virtual tele-mentoring model supported by Boston Medical Center. The Boston Medical Center and the League also support additional substance use related training and technical assistance as part of the grant. Through a competitive application process, six (6) CHCs will be chosen to participate over the course of 24 months. Selected CHCs receive a $75,000 award annually, or $150,000 across the two-year funding cycle.

For more information on the League's SUSTAIN program and the application process, contact Jim Hiatt.


The Mass League is the lead agency for a 3-year SAMSHA MAT-PDOA grant award running from September 30, 2018, to September 29, 2021. The SAMHSA-funded Medication Assisted Treatment - Prescription Drug and Opioid Addiction (MAT-PDOA) - Massachusetts Community Health Centers Supporting Opioid Addiction Recovery (MA-SOAR) program is designed to increase access to the MAT for individuals with opioid use disorder (OUD) and decrease illicit opioid use and prescription opioid misuse at six-month follow-up.

The goal of this program is to support a minimum of 345 individuals to access medication assisted treatment to address opioid use disorder during the grant period. Our target populations include Latinos, Veterans, and individuals who were recently incarcerated and re-entering the community. The League is partnering with Brandeis University as Evaluator, and three community health centers including Lowell Community Health Center, the Family Health Center of Worcester, and North Shore Community Health to implement the activities of project.

For more information on the SAMHSA MAT-PDOA - MA-SOAR program, please contact Moussa Cisse, Manager, Substance Use Initiatives at

Clinical Consultation/Support for Substance Use Disorders

    Boston Medical Center (BMC) Addiction Chat Live, Thursdays 7:00-7:50AM - Led by addiction specialist Rachel King, a board certified addiction medicine physician, this platform is intended to offer opportunities to discuss clinical questions, get support for the challenging yet rewarding work of SUD care, and hear updates on policies, legislation, funding and other areas impacting SUD care delivery. This is supported on the Zoom technology platform. For more information and login access please contact:
    Clinician Consultation Center Substance Use Warmline - HRSA sponsors The University of California-San Francisco's Clinician Consultation Center Warmline to support primary care providers at health centers. Get free, expert clinical advice on substance use disorder (SUD) treatment for managing complex patients with addiction, chronic pain, and behavioral health issues. Both online and phone consultations are available. The Warmline is accessible by phone toll free at 855-300-3595 and operates from 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. ET, Monday-Friday. Providers can also upload cases online. To learn more, click HERE.
    Provider support is now available via the Massachusetts Consultation Services for the Treatment of Addiction & Pain - The Massachusetts Consultation Service for Treatment of Addiction and Pain (MCSTAP) offers real-time, telephonic professional consultation to primary care providers on safe prescribing and managing care for patients with chronic pain and/or substance use disorder (SUD). MCSTAP is a comprehensive resource on a range of topics, such as: medication management related to medication-assisted treatment (MAT), opioid, and non-opioid pain medications; pain management strategies, including non-pharmaceutical treatment of pain; and resources in the community for people living with chronic pain and/or SUD. Any provider within a primary care practice, such as physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, registered nurses, or behavioral health clinicians, can call MCSTAP and it is a free resource to all Massachusetts providers. The MCSTAP phone line is intended for providers only and patients with questions should be referred to their PCP. For addiction and pain management consultation, please call: 1-833-PAIN-SUD (1-833-724-6783), Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. For more information about the program, contact Amy Rosenstein at 617-790-4186 or

Substance Use Disorder Public Health Alerts

Updated January 2020