Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $1,199,747)
Though the effects of the current global pandemic have been felt here locally, our community has been fighting a deadly epidemic for many years now. Opioids are devastating lives in North Carolina. Per the North Carolina Injury and Violence Prevention Branch, an estimated 79% of drug overdose deaths involved opioids in 2018; for a total of 1,783 fatalities. In 2019, an average of 6 people died daily from medication poising in North Carolina, an increase of 120% over the last ten years.
As unintentional overdoses continue to rise, in response to this solicitation, The Wake County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) proposes its Opioid Abuse Management Program to protect the public against the emerging threat of overdoses and to reduce the number of opioid related fatalities in Wake County. By implementing the Opioid Abuse Management Program, WCSO would use awarded funds to purchase enough Naloxone to fully supply each division of deputies with the reversal drug, as well as handheld narcotics analyzers. These handheld narcotics analyzers will allow WCSO to reduce the impact of opioids on individuals and communities by enabling deputies to scan for more than 498 suspected controlled substances in a single test.
In efforts to combat the horrific opioid dependency problem among residents, WCSO has formed a detox unit in need of a program coordinator and equipment to assist with the effects of withdraw for residents while in our care. However, our duty of care must not stop upon their release. There is an existing gap in connection to treatment services for individuals upon re-entry. WCSO will work to reduce this gap in support and connection by implementing a partnerships with a behavioral health clinic and treatment provider to expand our comprehensive efforts to respond to, treat, and support those impacted by illicit opioids, stimulants, and other drugs of abuse once released from our care. WCSO will pay transportation expenses provided to individuals who are engaged with the courts and who have no other means of obtaining transportation.
WCSO will seek partnership with a software company to design a custom Substance Abuse Disorder Management Platform that will be able to connect WCSO with outside treatment providers to enable healthcare professionals to better understand patterns of behavior as well as seamlessly share this crucial data among one another. Having a collaborative system like this in place will help mitigate the impacts on crime victims though comprehensive initiatives.