Mar 14, 2016
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-5) today announced a $325,000.00 Department of Health and Human Services grant for Contra Costa County Health Services Department. The grant will be used to expand patient access to substance abuse services, with an emphasis on opioid abuse, for Contra Costa County’s homeless population.

Contra Costa County Health Services Department provides quality, affordable care for those in need in our community, said Thompson.” With this grant, they will be able to better address substance abuse and combat the growing epidemic of opioid abuse, improving health outcomes for homeless individuals in particular. I am proud to support this important work and I will continue to do everything I can to make sure Contra Costa County Health Services Department have the resources they need to meet the needs of our community.”

Contra Costa County Health Services’ Health Care for the Homeless Medical Director, Dr. Joseph Mega, MD, MPH said, “We are very thankful to have been awarded a grant that will allow county-wide expansion of life-saving, effective pharmacotherapy and behavioral health support for the treatment of opioid addiction.  We plan to use this funding to create an integrated, more easily accessible system to address the complex needs of the homeless. This will include expansion of sites that offer services, adding addiction specialists to our team and expanding licensing for physicians who wish to prescribe medication assisted therapy for opioid-dependent patients.  We are hopeful that these services will decrease the rate of overdoses and deaths due to opioids and address one of the major factors contributing to homelessness in Contra Costa County.”

Recent reports from the California Department of Public Health indicate that in Contra Costa County, drugs led to over 2,000 emergency room visits, over 550 hospitalizations and 93 deaths. Opioids led to 348 visits to the emergency room and almost 200 hospitalizations.

Last week, Rep. Thompson hosted an educational forum on substance abuse and the dangers of self-medication. The forum brought together a panel of leaders in the effort to better understand and more effectively treat substance abuse at the federal, state and local level as well as by community organizations. Panelists provided an overview of the current trends and research of substance abuse and identified resources where community members and their families can go for help.

Congressman Mike Thompson is proud to represent California’s 5th Congressional District, which includes all or part of Contra Costa, Lake, Napa, Solano and Sonoma Counties.  He is a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee. Rep. Thompson is also a member of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition and chairs the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Wine Caucus.

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