How proposed legislation could extend funding for opioid treatment

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A pilot project in Wilmington created to combat the opioid crisis could receive more funding, thanks to a new bill filed in the State House.

The Quick Response Team was started in August. Lawmakers and other officials say they have seen a lot of success, so they would like to see the funding continue and possibly become permanent.

“We just started, but already have seen success,” Representative Ted Davis said. “So in talking, we felt like ‘Okay, we’ve got the funding for the next two fiscal years, but we’d like to get one more year of the program being a pilot program.'”

Since the quick response team started, Davis says it has taken off. That’s why he is sponsoring H.B. 321, to get funding for a third year.

Officials say the team has already helped dozens.

“It gives people confidence that maybe, ‘I should get some help, and maybe help is available,'” Kenny House said. “So this is more of a community outreach model. We’re seeing the success of it. That means we’re saving lives. That means families are being restored from this. So it’s good for everybody involved.”

House works with the Coastal Horizons Center. He says he would love to see the program expand throughout the state.

Right now, the QRT is made up of Wilmington first responders and health specialists.

With this bill, the QRT would get $250,000 in funding for a third year. Davis says he hopes this program will stick around.

“What we’re trying to do is reach a point where we can get recurring funding for this,” Davis said. “In other words, turn it from a pilot project into something that would be a permanent thing.”

The funding would help make sure the QRT can give opiate and heroin overdose victims follow-up treatment.

Categories: Local, New Hanover

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