NC Receives $35 Million Federal Grant To Combat Opioid Crisis

NC Receives $35 Million Federal Grant To Combat Opioid Crisis

3:56pm Sep 14, 2020
This file photo shows an arrangement of the opioid oxycodone-acetaminophen, also known as Percocet. AP Photo/Patrick Sison, File.

North Carolina is getting a big boost to help its fight against the opioid epidemic. The state has been awarded a multimillion-dollar federal grant to provide treatment and recovery services.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has been awarded a $35 million State Opioid Response (SOR) grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

State officials say these funds are especially vital as the COVID-19 pandemic has made it more difficult for some individuals to access treatment for substance use disorder, prompting a spike in opioid overdoses.

In North Carolina, there’s been a 21 percent increase in emergency department visits relating to opioid overdoses from the prior year, even as overall emergency department visits have declined.

NCDHHS says it will provide treatment, recovery, and prevention services to at least 3,300 additional individuals in the first year. It will also go toward funding continuing care for those who have been receiving services under existing opioid response grants.

Secretary Mandy Cohen says the federal funding will help save lives, but she’s calling on lawmakers to meet the need by expanding Medicaid.

Previously, NCDHHS received a total of $58 million in SOR grants, which to date, has provided more than 14,000 individuals with treatment and recovery services.

For the most up-to-date information on coronavirus in North Carolina, visit our Live Updates blog here. WFDD wants to hear your stories — connect with us and let us know what you’re experiencing. 

*Follow WFDD’s Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

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