Governor Cooper Reports More than 5,700 Treated in First Year of Federal Opioid Grant


Across North Carolina, 5,717 individuals--nearly four times the first-year goal--have benefited since May 2017 from a federal grant aimed at helping battle an opioid crisis that is killing nearly four people a day in this state, Governor Roy Cooper reported today.

The first $15.5 million in funding from the 21st Century Cures Act/State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grant was expected to serve 1,460 people with treatment and recovery supports during its first year. The funds support several components of North Carolina’s Opioid Action Plan.

North Carolina is using the federal grant funds to expand opioid treatment, with some individuals receiving multiple services. Outpatient treatment was provided to 4,175 individuals, while more than 2,000 each received medication-assisted treatment (MAT) or Crisis Services, and some individuals also received recovery and prevention supports.

“We are saving lives, improving people’s health, and moving North Carolina forward,” Governor Cooper said. “We will continue to work together with health care providers, law enforcement, emergency personnel, and others across our state to fight the opioid crisis on the ground.”

In addition to the federal grant, Gov. Cooper’s budget announced last week invests in fighting the opioid epidemic through expanded access to treatment. The governor’s proposal provides $9.8 million to serve up to 1,400 additional people through publicly funded Medication-Assisted Treatment as well as alternative treatment methods and recovery support services.

“More people are now receiving treatment and recovery supports, but there is more work to be done to provide access for all who need it.” said N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. “Access to ongoing treatment and recovery supports is critical to turn the tide of the opioid crisis.”

The federal grant is helping to ramp up efforts to reduce opioid-related overdoses and deaths through the purchase of more than 4,200 doses of naloxone, the life-saving overdose reversal drug. Naloxone is being distributed to partners across the state including health departments, treatment centers, nonprofit and drug addiction centers and networks of volunteers.

The grant is helping to make sure that services are delivered to reach the approximately 80 percent of individuals with substance use disorder who had not received treatment in the previous year.

This builds on the collaborative work already underway across North Carolina to fight the opioid epidemic. The battle includes efforts by consumers, family members, care and treatment providers, Local Management Entities-Managed Care Organizations, local health departments, law enforcement, medical facilities, emergency responders and others.