North Carolina is receiving a large federal grant to treat people addicted to opioids. Governor Roy Cooper announced Thursday that the state will receive $31 million for treatment initiatives over the next two years.
“The opioid crisis is one of the biggest challenges we face across our state,” Cooper said in a statement. “This grant will help further our commitment to fight this epidemic that is destroying families and lives across our state. This is a problem we must solve for the safety and well-being of our citizens. Our families, friends and neighbors need our help.”
Dr. Jason Vogler directs the state’s division of mental health, developmental disabilities and substance abuse services. He said most of the funds will be used for medical treatment to transition patients off of opioids.
“These treatment funds also help to provide ongoing...recovery support for individuals who are at some point in their journey to recovery: social support, assistance with getting jobs or finding housing, reconnecting with family and other loved ones,” Vogler said.
Vogler said 80 percent of the funds will be used for treatment.
“What that really means is that these funds support medication-assisted treatment, which involves the prescription of a few different medications which help people to transition from the abuse of heroin or the abuse of other prescription to move forward in their recovery,” he said.
The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration awarded the grant.
All states will receive funding through the 21st Century Cures Act passed in 2016. The grant amounts are based on population and opioid use rates. North Carolina ranks 9th in its grant amount.