Approximately one in four people will experience a substance use disorder (SUD) in their lifetime, including 2.5 million Los Angeles County residents. Unfortunately, 95% of those who need specialty SUD treatment do not receive it, and Black and Hispanic individuals seeking SUD treatment are less likely to receive it than White individuals. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s Division of Substance Abuse Prevention and Control (SAPC) SAPC manages the County’s SUD prevention, harm reduction, and treatment service networks and operates a Substance Abuse Service Helpline to connect individuals to publicly funded SUD treatment in LAC. Los Angeles County will partner with FUSE to develop an operational plan that includes a suite of recommendations and best practices at the provider- and plan-level to lower barriers to SUD treatment entry. The goal is to ensure that Los Angeles County residents with SUDs will be able to better access clinically effective SUD care irrespective of their readiness for abstinence.

Maria Elena Chavez will cultivate relationships with stakeholders, including Los Angeles County officials, SUD provider networks, and BIPOC communities. She will review best practices for low-barrier, culturally responsive SUD treatment and develop a map of intake, screening, and admissions policies and procedures across SAPC’s provider network. Using this information, she will develop an implementation plan to promote facilitators and lower barriers to SUD treatment throughout the provider network, addressing the prioritization of barriers and facilitators and the mechanisms to enhance SUD treatment access.