Opioid treatment centers hope declaration will bring relief

Published: Aug. 11, 2017 at 2:24 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 11, 2017 at 7:03 AM EDT
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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Treatment centers in Wilmington hope the opioid epidemic will ease in the city after President Donald Trump declared the crisis a "national emergency" on Thursday.

Trump said he would spend a lot of money and put lots of effort into ending the crisis. The declaration should free up more federal money for treatment centers across the United States.

Reflections of Hope is one of Wilmington's newest treatment facilities. Program Director Christie Jarrell-Smith said the clinic hopes the money will make it easier to get addicts clean.

"You can take the same individuals that are part of, right now, what people consider the panic or the epidemic, and you can teach them how to structure their life again and help them get clean, and provide maintenance therapy until they are stable again," Jarrell-Smith said. "We can literally change the entire stigma and the epidemic that we have right now."

Jarrell-Smith also said Trump's actions were important in raising national awareness.

"Now people are starting to realize it is in the back door," she said. "We can't hide from it but for so long, so I just think continuing to make these efforts and to provide grant money, and we need to look at the programs in the communities that have the highest rates of overdose."

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