Gov. Cooper announces $31 million grant to fight opioid epidemic

RALEIGH, NC (WWAY) –North Carolina will receive $31 million to address the opioid crisis.

North Carolina experienced a 73 percent spike in opioid-related deaths between 2005 and 2015. Opioid overdose also claimed the lives of more than 13,000 North Carolinians between 1999 and 2015, and four North Carolina cities rank among the nation’s worst for opioid abuse.

“The opioid crisis is one of the biggest challenges we face across our state,” Gov. Cooper said. “This grant will help further our commitment to fight this epidemic that is destroying families and lives across our state. This is a problem we must solve for the safety and well-being of our citizens. Our families, friends and neighbors need our help.”

The money is through the 21st Century Cures Act, State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grants.

The grant will be used to increase access to prevention, treatment and recovery support. It will also help reduce the unmet treatment need and reduce opioid-related overdoses and deaths.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration awarded the grant to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

The Cures Act provides up to $1 billion in grants spread among states and territories over the next two years, beginning in fiscal year 2017. North Carolina will receive $15,586,724 in the first year. Eighty percent of those funds must target outreach, engagement, treatment and recovery services.

The funds will serve 1,460 individuals in the first year and 1,520 in the second, providing services to a total of 2,980 over the two-year span. This would represent an 18 percent increase in the number of patients currently being served in the 54 private and publicly funded opioid treatment programs.

The announcement was made Thursday to health care providers and other mental health professionals gathered at SouthLight Healthcare, a substance abuse treatment facility in Raleigh.



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