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Governor Cooper Takes Action to Help NC Seek $25 Million in Federal Grants to Combat the Opioid Crisis

Governor Roy Cooper has issued Executive Order No. 48, paving the way for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to immediately apply for $25 million in federal funding to combat the opioid epidemic in North Carolina.

“The opioid epidemic ravages physical and mental health, holds people back from education and careers, and tears families and communities apart,” said Gov. Cooper. “We must do even more to fight the opioid crisis in North Carolina and these grants would help us make critical progress to prevent and treat opioid addiction and save lives.”  

Read the Executive Order here.

Based on the executive order, the NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will apply for approximately $22 million in federal funding through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s grant program. DHHS would use these dollars to provide opioid prevention services, medication-assisted treatment and recovery support services to at least 5,000 North Carolinians. This funding would also allow the state to enhance efforts to combat overdoses by purchasing additional naloxone, a life-saving overdose reversal drug.

DHHS will also seek nearly $3 million in federal funding through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Cooperative Agreement for Emergency Response: Public Health Crisis Response. The department would use these funds to enhance the tracking and reporting of overdose-related data to enable state leaders and programs to better target and evaluate prevention strategies.

“These grants are important steps in fighting the opioid crisis,” said DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. “But they are only part of the solution. We also need sustainable funding to close the coverage gap and increase access to affordable health insurance. Addiction is a chronic disease and people need access to care beyond the life of these grants.” 

North Carolina is putting previous federal grants to fight the opioid crisis to excellent use and wants to build on that success. In fiscal year 2017-18, North Carolina provided opioid use treatment to more than 5,700 individuals– nearly four times the program’s first-year goal– through federal funding awarded by the 21st Century Cures Act, State-Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grants.

The grants are part of North Carolina’s comprehensive Opioid Action Plan, adopted in 2017 to address the opioid crisis by coordinating state resources to reduce the oversupply of prescription opioids, reduce the diversion of prescription drugs and the flow of illicit drugs, increase community awareness and prevention, increase the availability of naloxone, expand treatment and recovery support, and measure the results and effectiveness of these strategies. For more information about DHHS’ efforts to-date and the Opioid Action Plan, visit www.ncdhhs.gov/opioid-epidemic

NCCAA Tackling the Opioid Epidemic in North Carolina’s Coastal Communities

It is no secret that the Opioid pandemic has hit North Carolina like a sledge hammer. This crisis knows no cultural, racial or socio-economic boundaries. In fact, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) reports a 24 percent increase in opioid overdose deaths in North Carolina. In May 2018, the N.C. Community Action Association (NCCAA) kicked-off it’s statewide series of events focused on opioid addiction in Asheville.
Now the NCCAA is converging on Wilmington to tackle the epidemic’s effects on the coastal region. The public is invited to join in on Tuesday, Sep. 25, from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Burney Center on the campus of UNC-W. The entire event is free and open to the public however, seating is limited. Visit www.nccaa.net/2018-opioid-symposium and register today.
The second in the state-wide series, this event will address North Carolina’s battle with opioid addiction, as well as, prevention and education with a special focus on possible solutions to reduce or eliminate the state’s opioid epidemic. Community Action is dedicated to solutions and innovation in their daily work lifting individuals and families out of poverty. Members have seen this epidemic firsthand as it has ravaged the low-income communities that the NCCAA serves.
The solutions-based approach is what drives the agencies all across North Carolina to serve the specific needs of their local communities. The NCCAA is partnering with local leaders and experts to leverage their insight and expertise. The keynote speakers, Dr. Joseph Pino and Olivia Herndon of SEAHEC in Wilmington, will share their expertise regarding the comprehensive treatment and care needed to battle opioid addiction.
Also, in partnership with Public Media North Carolina’s UNC-TV, and Carolina Public Press, this event will be live-streamed so that people across the state and the nation can access this life-saving information.
North Carolina’s Opioid Action Plan for 2017-2021, indicates that from 1999 to 2016 more than 12,000 North Carolinians died from opioid-related overdoses. It further states how this epidemic is devastating families and communities, overwhelming medical providers, straining prevention and treatment efforts.
Community and nonprofit leaders, healthcare providers, law enforcement officials, educators, people in recovery, elected officials and concerned citizens are encouraged to join in on this conversation focused on identifying solutions to end this widespread problem in communities from Manteo to Murphy.
Additionally, a community-wide resource fair that is free and open to the public will take place from 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. and will include service providers who partner in reduction and treatment efforts. Interested community service providers should register atwww.nccaa.net/2018-opioid-symposium using the vendor registration link or contact the NCCAA office if interested in representing their organization as a community resource during the resource fair. There is no charge for service providers.