Nevada Attorney General Announces Release of 2023 Annual Report of the Statewide Substance Use Response Working Group

Jan. 31, 2024

Carson City, NV – Today, Attorney General Aaron D. Ford announced the release of the 2023 annual report of the Statewide Substance Use Response Working Group (SURG). SURG was created in the Office of the Attorney General through Assembly Bill 374 in 2021, and is required to make recommendations for the establishment, maintenance, expansion or improvement of programs designed to combat substance misuse in Nevada, as well as advising the state regarding the use of state and local funding to address the same.

“I have made it clear during my time in office that curbing the opioid epidemic and other crises of substance misuse is one of my highest priorities,” said AG Ford. “I want to thank every member of SURG for the work they have done in producing these recommendations, which, if adopted, will significantly impact our state’s ability to fight substance misuse and substance use disorders.”

SURG is made up of three subcommittees – the Prevention Subcommittee, the Treatment and Recovery Subcommittee and the Response Subcommittee. These three subcommittees were tasked with recommending actions to SURG as a whole, and the recommendations were then ranked in order of relative importance. There are 18 ranked recommendations in the report, along with two unranked recommendations.

    The first five recommendations of the report are: 

    • A recommendation to double the investment in the Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Agency to a total of $24 million this biennium. 
    • A recommendation to expand access to medication-assisted treatment and recovery support for substance use disorder and limit barriers to individuals seeking treatment without the ability to pay. 
    • A recommendation to expand Medicaid billing opportunities for preventive services and allow blended and braided funding to expand access to care. 
    • A recommendation to significantly increase capacity of and access to treatment and intensive care facilities for youths under the age of 18. 
    • A recommendation to create a bill draft request that would set aside $6.2 million from the Fund for a Healthy Nevada for tobacco control and prevention.

    The annual report, which contains more information about these recommendations, as well as the other 15 recommendations, can be found on the Office of the Attorney General's website.