Local News

NC awarded $31M grant to battle opioid crisis

Posted May 18

— North Carolina will receive about $31 million in federal funding over the next two years to battle ongoing issues surrounding opioid addiction.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration, a federal agency that works to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness, awarded the grant.

The state will receive $15.5 million for two consecutive years, with 80 percent of the funds going to treatment and the other 20 percent going to addiction prevention efforts.

According to Gov. Roy Cooper's office, opioid deaths are on the rise in North Carolina.

In 2015, there were more than 1,100 opioid-related deaths, a 73 percent increase from 2005.

"Opioids are tearing apart families, ruining lives and taking lives all across North Carolina," Stein said. "We have got to do more to prevent people from becoming addicted, treat people who are addicted and enforce oru laws aggressively against the drug traffickers who are breeding misery and death in our state."

Cooper, Attorney General Josh Stein and NC DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen are scheduled to make a formal announcement about the grant at 10 a.m. Thursday.

Cooper on Monday urged state lawmakers to include more funds in their state budget to battle opioid-related issues.

“Opioid addiction is devastating families across the nation,” Cooper said in a statement. “This is a uniquely challenging crisis for our communities and will require a new level of collaboration between law enforcement, treatment-providers, and those in recovery. I am committed to combatting opioid abuse in North Carolina, and I urge the General Assembly to make a similar investment to help those who are suffering from this disease.”

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