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Sustainability Strategies

One strategy for sustaining rural substance use disorder treatment and prevention programs is to identify new funding sources. For an overview of entities that fund rural health programs, see Funders of Rural Programs in the Rural Community Health Toolkit. For current funding opportunities for substance use disorder programs, see Rural Funding & Opportunities by Topic in the Rural Health Information Hub Online Library.

Additional funding opportunities for rural substance use disorder treatment and prevention programs are provided below. Other sustainability strategies are also described.

Funding Sources

  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse
  • Social Services (services vary by state):
    • Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)
    • Social Services Block Grant
    • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD): HUD funds treatment programs for public housing residents under the Public Housing Drug Elimination Program
    • Children's Protective Services: Title V of the Social Security Act allows for funding of treatment programs for parents ordered by a court to obtain treatment.
  • Reimbursement for services provided by community health workers (depending upon state)
  • Criminal justice/juvenile corrections programs
  • County and local governments
  • Local charities
  • Local foundations
  • Pharmaceutical companies: Rural naloxone expansion programs have partnered with pharmaceutical companies to provide free or reduced naloxone.
  • Law enforcement: Rural naloxone expansion programs have worked with law enforcement to secure naloxone funding from drug seizure money or through donations from states.

Other Strategies

  • Program positions/responsibilities are absorbed by regular staff.
  • Program activities are absorbed by consortium partners as standard practice, for example:
    • Training on substance use disorders becomes an annual requirement of hospital staff
    • Educational efforts are integrated into existing harm reduction efforts within organizations that can be maintained at no cost once established
    • Maintenance of community education
    • Maintenance of prescription drug drop boxes that are in fixed locations in the community
  • The program's consortium is expanded to include new partners such as community-based organizations that can sustain key activities.
  • The program prepares materials – such as a guide on how to design, implement, and sustain an opioid overdose reversal program in rural communities – that can help other communities to replicate the evidence-based model used.
  • The program develops train-the-trainer modules for leadership in partner organizations so that they are able to train staff in the future.
  • The program lives on within the strong public health infrastructure that exists within the community because organizations and community members are invested in addressing substance use disorders.
  • Rural programs described the importance of working with partner organizations to plan for sustainability.

Resources to Learn More

Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment
Chapter six of this manual includes information on federal, state, and local sources of funding for substance abuse treatment programs.
Organization(s): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment
Date: 10/2015