City of Wilmington invests $100K in Coastal Horizons Quick Response Team

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington residents struggling with substance use disorder will soon have more access to resources for treatment as the City of Wilmington announced today an additional $100,000 commitment to the Quick Response Team of Coastal Horizons (QRT).

Sponsored by the City of Wilmington, the QRT engages overdose survivors, those who are at high risk of overdose, and those close to them – helping them to be safer, supported, and ultimately connected to treatment and recovery resources.

In FY 2019-2020, the QRT successfully helped 90 percent of survivors it engaged to enter treatment. Between July 2018 and August 2021, the QRT connected 513 overdose survivors to treatment.

“The opioid epidemic has touched nearly everyone and is especially present in Wilmington, but the work the Quick Response Team does to help transition individuals into treatment, to help them overcome any obstacles to recovery, and to support them every step of the way, is saving lives,” Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo said. “I applaud the work of the QRT, the courage of the survivors to seek treatment, and the difference we’re seeing in our community from these efforts. Every day we each have an opportunity to make Wilmington a better, safer, healthier city, and every day, the Quick Response Team rises to that challenge.”

Founded in July 2018 as a pilot program that primarily focuses on opioid abuse, the QRT will use this funding to expand its program to include help for those struggling with alcoholism and other drug use.

Nationwide, 2020 saw the largest number of overdoses than in any time such data has been collected, according to the Centers for Disease Control. This increase has only compounded an ongoing concern in the City of Wilmington.

New Hanover County’s rate of unintentional opioid overdose death in 2020 was 32 deaths per 100,000 residents, which was 45% higher than the state as a whole, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

“With the trends showing that overdose is more prevalent as more types of drug use is involved, this new funding and approach will broaden our efforts to keep people safer and hopefully connect them to treatment sooner,” Coastal Horizons Vice President of Clinical Services Kenny House said.

Funding for this investment is possible through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), from which the City of Wilmington will receive an approximate $26 million through two installments over two years. The city received its first installment of $13 million earlier this year and is dedicating $9 million to economic and community assistance.

As part of the city’s strategic commitment to community-building organizations, the City of Wilmington funded $100,111 to Coastal Horizons in FY22, in addition to the ARPA allocation. This reflects the City Council’s belief that, even though social services fall beyond the typical scope of city government, the city has a shared responsibility to invest in the wellbeing of the community.

Overdose is preventable. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, call the Quick Response Team at (910) 833-2052.

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