WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The Coastal Horizons Center in Wilmington is one of six facilities in North Carolina to share $1.2 million in federal grants to fight the opioid epidemic.
State officials say the $200,000 grants will help the facilities “strengthen and expand their response to opioid use disorder with increased planning; prevention; evidence-based treatment, including medication-assisted treatment; and recovery service delivery.”
“Many North Carolinians living in rural communities struggle to access opioid use disorder treatment due to a lack of providers and insurance funding for treatment,” said Kody H. Kinsley, N.C. Department of Health and Human Services’ deputy secretary for Behavioral Health & Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. “This award will support our efforts to address these challenges and help individuals obtain treatment and move into recovery.”
The facilities receiving the grants are:
- Ashe Memorial Hospital in Jefferson
- Coastal Horizons Center in Wilmington
- North Carolina Quality Healthcare Alliance in Chapel Hill
- Robeson Health Care Corporation in Pembroke
- United Way of Rutherford County in Forest City
- Wilson Substance Abuse Coalition in Wilson
The grants are part of the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program which is a multi-year, opioid-focused initiative by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) aimed at reducing the morbidity and mortality of substance use disorder, including opioid use disorder, in high-risk rural communities.
These grants emphasize HRSA’s position that substance use disorder and opioid use disorder are community problems and require community-scale response.
Opioid use disorder is a chronic disease and opioid-involved overdose deaths are high throughout the state, with over five North Carolinians reported dying each day from an unintentional opioid overdose. The impact is felt at a higher rate in rural areas — from 2013-2017, there was a 130 percent increase in opioid overdose deaths in rural areas.
“Our rural communities are disproportionately affected by the opioid crisis.,” said DHHS Office of Rural Health Director Maggie Sauer. “These grants will provide communities with the opportunity to work collectively to plan and create sustainable community interventions.”