Opioid settlement funds budgeted in Dare

Published 8:17 pm Sunday, June 25, 2023

Dare County commissioners approved an opioid settlement funding plan for the 2024 fiscal year on June, 5 2023.

Sheila Davies, director of Dare County Department of Health and Human Services, made the presentation at the Board of Commissioners meeting.

She started with background about the opioid settlement that was made in July 2021. The historic agreement made with four distributors and a manufacturer resolved the issue of the role of the four companies in creating the opioid epidemic.

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The agreement required industry changes and payment of $26 billion over 18 years. All 100 North Carolina counties and 17 municipalities are participating in distribution of the North Carolina share of $750 million.

A memorandum of agreement was signed indicating that funds should be used for treatment, recovery support and harm reduction. Over the 18 years, $3,443,424 will be sent to Dare County.

In fiscal year 2023, seven categories were funded:

Overdose response coordinator: $70,000

Probation officer for Recovery Court: $100,000

Naloxone for community distribution: $30,000

Fentanyl testing strips for community distribution: $12,000

Fentanyl Kills mass public awareness campaign: $40,000

Community initiatives (contract services and mini-grants)

Linkage of care/social determinants of health: $20,000

Davies said the $42,000 for naloxone and testing strips went very quickly.

Ten organizations received grants in fiscal year 2023:

– Dare County Recovery Court: “assist those in the justice-involved populations and recovery with reentry services and post-treatment support”

– Just in Case: “provide Narcan and Fentanyl tests strips in a free, convenient, and discreet manner in the form of a vending machine.” Davies reported that nothing happened with this grant. The vendor never signed a contract.

– Community Care Clinic of Dare County: “implement medically-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder.”

– OBX Room in the Inn: “fund qualified and dedicated Dare County residents to become Mental Health First Aid Trainers.”

– Cross Roads OBX: “increase organizational capacity to help those with substance use disorders in Dare County.”

– Interfaith Community Outreach: “provide monetary assistance to residents with addiction who have completed a treatment program.”

– Outer Banks Yoga: “provide a 75-minute weekly yoga/meditation class, designed specifically for individual recovery from drug addiction.”

– Changing Tides: “cover costs associated with services and treatment for qualified Dare County residents.”

– Outer Banks Dare Challenge: “to provide a more intense focus on setting up Dare County residents with the tools necessary for long term success in recovery.”

– Contracted community peer support specialist: “attend Recovery Court sessions monthly and assist participants and professionals. Work with Dare County Detention Center to set up needed programs.”

To assess what stakeholders wanted, six organizations developed a survey. Over the course of two weeks, 57 people responded listing as top three priorities: residential treatment support locally; funds to support agency capacity to help those with substance use disorders; and medication assisted treatment for substance use disorder.

For fiscal year 2024, the commissioners approved the following budget for using opioid settlement funds:

Naloxone and fentanyl test kits for community distribution: $150,000

Community initiatives, contract service and mini-grants: $60,000

Recovery Court coordinator: $100,000

Peer support specialist: $63,000

Linkage to care Dare County Detention Center: $50,000

For additional information, contact Sheila.Davies@DareNC.gov or Roxana.Ballinger@DareNC.gov.