N.C. gets $1.2 million in grants as it grapples with policies to combat opioid crisis

Rural areas in North Carolina will share $1.2 million in federal grant dollars to expand their response to the opioid epidemic, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services announced this week.

Six separate hospitals or organizations will receive a $200,000grant:  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, and Wilson Substance Abuse Coalition in Wilson.

“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, in a written statement.

“This award will support our efforts to address these challenges and help individuals obtain treatment and move into recovery,” Kinsley said.

Six rural North Carolina communities will share $1.2 million in federal grant funds to strengthen and expand their response to opioid use disorder with increased planning; prevention; evidence-based treatment, including medication-assisted treatment; and recovery service delivery.

The federal money will go toward evidence-based treatment, the department said — including prevention, medication-assisted treatment and recovery service delivery.

The grants come as North Carolina government continues to struggle with the direction of its policies to address the opioid crisis.

On Tuesday activists staged a “die in” demonstration outside of the North Carolina Governor’s mansion to urge Gov. Roy Cooper to veto House Bill 474, the “Death by Distribution” bill.

The bill, which has been passed by the legislature and is awaiting the governor’s signature or veto, expands prosecution for second degree murder when someone dies of an overdose. Critics say such laws disproportionately impact communities of color and further criminalizes those struggling with addiction, making them hesitant to call the police or 911 for help.

“The outcome of laws like HB474 is two lives lost instead of one — and a false appearance of retribution, justice and revenge,” said Louise Vincent, director of the North Carolina Survivors Union. “It will not reduce the number of overdoses and it will surely further the racial injustices of the drug war. At a time when communities across the country are trying to reduce the prison population, North Carolina shouldn’t be enacting a bill that would put more people who use drugs behind bars.”



  1. Lisa smith

    July 4, 2019 at 9:56 am

    A sad fixation on both sides, no doubt. Also realize drug dealers who destroy lives and tear apart families, even inflicting death need to be held accountable. Loss is loss, life is life, and law is law! It’s not revenge, it’s accountability. Ask someone who has lost s loved one!

  2. Connie Riddick

    July 5, 2019 at 5:22 pm

    There has to be accountable actions taken in this war on drugs. Stop making excuses for allowing this kind of behavior to be acceptable! It’s not about race. It’s about not having any respect for the law or the country that in many cases provides for the families of these law breaking dead beats! The drug epidemic is being fueled by people that sell drugs because it’s the best paying job that is available to them. I have friends and business associates of all races. When you work hard for your money, pay your taxes and struggle to make ends meet, it goes against the grain of what America was built on! The system encourages all races (legal or immigrant) to fly under the radar and not work a normal job because if they do they will lose their entitlement support. Being self made and self supported used to mean something to people and give them a reason to be proud. I understand that there’s many people that can’t work but I have no patience for people who won’t! Sadly, our country’s mindset is full of entitlement and this keeps good people enslaved to the federal government and the systems it has created to supposedly fix the problems. Something has to change and praying it will.

  3. Tina

    July 5, 2019 at 6:27 pm

    You are right Lisa. It can’t be allowed . Not when there is fentynil out there and people are killing other people. Even after someone dies from it they will continue to sell the rest of that batch and kill more. I understand they are usually suffering from addiction themselves but they have to get that off the streets. There absolutely needs to be consequences

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