The primary purpose of the proposed project is to continue addressing the opioid crisis in North Carolina, using the North Carolina Opioid Action Plan 3.0, updated March 2021 with the input of community partners, as the guide. The drug overdose rate has increased by 37% in the state since the start of the Pandemic and the infiltration of manufactured highly potent opioids in the illegal drug supply. The Action Plan aims to Prevent, Reduce Harm and Connect to Care. The plan focuses on several key areas: (1) Equity and lived experiences (behavioral health equity), (2) Preventing future opioid addiction through education (3) Reducing harm, (4) Connecting to care by increasing treatment access for adults in rural areas, high-need urban areas, as well those justice-involved (recovery-oriented), (5) Expand access to housing and employment supports and recover from the pandemic together. Efforts will be focused on activities that can realistically be accomplished within the time frame of the two-year grant. Objectives under each goal and their measures are described below.
Goal: Treat opioid use disorder. Objective: (1) To increase access to MAT/MOUD and other EBPs, among uninsured and under-insured North Carolinians for Federal Drug Administration (FDA)-approved medications, through fee for service treatments billed under the Adult Substance Opioid Use Disorder target population. Objective: (2) Provide services to transitioning populations by facilitating MOUD/MAT in correctional and detention facilities for individuals with opioid use disorders.
Goal: To increase community awareness, prevention, and education. Objective: (1) Provide education to school-aged children, first responders, and key community sectors on opioid misuse. Objective: (2) Increase secure storage of scheduled drugs and MOUD, through targeted media campaigns and providing medication lock boxes and chemical disposal kits.
Goal: To Reduce Overdose Deaths through Access to Harm Reduction Supports. Objective: (1) Reduce overdose deaths from drug use by supporting and funding the use of naloxone and Fentanyl Test Strips through will funding three Syringe Service Program (SSPs) Equity Navigation programs.
Goal: To Implement Recovery Supports and Services that aid in the initiation and maintenance of OUD treatment and recovery. Objective: (1) Reduce barriers to engagement and retention in treatment and recovery. Objective: (2) Provide linkages to recovery and support services
Goal: To Conduct a Project Evaluation. Objective: (1) Contract with a consultant to evaluate SOR 3 performance. Objective: (2) Routinely review the extent to which the project is meeting its goals and objectives at implementation meetings.
The proposed project plans to serve a minimum of 4,000 unduplicated participants in Year 1 and an additional 3,000 in the second year of the grant. Because it is anticipated that some participants that began treatment in Year 1 will continue in treatment into Year 2, the number of new participants in Year 2 is decreased. This will allow adequate funding in order that first year participants may continue in treatment as long as necessary for a total of 7000. Additionally, it is anticipated that an additional 500 individuals will be served through the proposed pilot initiatives each year.