Congressional Hearing Includes What NC Is Doing To Combat Opioid Crisis

Congressional Hearing Includes What NC Is Doing To Combat Opioid Crisis

4:39pm Jan 13, 2020
An arrangement of pills of the opioid oxycodone-acetaminophen, also known as Percocet. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison)

This story has been updated from a previous version.

A congressional hearing Tuesday morning highlighted what North Carolina is doing to combat the opioid crisis.

Deputy Secretary for Behavioral Health & Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Kody Kinsley from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services was one of several speakers. 

The hearing for the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce's Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations focused on how states are using federal funds to promote opioid treatment and recovery efforts.

According to Kinsley, the federal funds have been a huge assistance, helping the state implement a comprehensive Opioid Action Plan that addresses prevention, reducing harm, and connecting individuals to care. Since then, opioid dispensing is down by 24 percent, and prescriptions for drugs used to treat opioid use disorders have risen.

“This investment has saved lives, transformed communities, and has made the down payment on breaking the cycle of addiction, trauma, and poverty in our state,” he says.

Kinsley says what’s needed now is a commitment to sustaining these funds, as the next wave of the epidemic is coming and involves methamphetamines and benzodiazepines. 

North Carolina was one of five states presenting testimony, along with officials from Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia.  

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