Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $899,943)
Onslow County is in the southeastern coastal plain of North Carolina. With over 30 miles of ocean and river shoreline, the North Carolina Office of State Budget and Management estimates the 2021 population of Onslow County to be 211,881. There are also approximately 47,000 active-duty marines and sailors stationed at Camp Lejeune and New River Air Station. The vast majority of these men and women do not live on base, but in the community. The National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics estimates that there are another 44,466 military veterans (21% of the population) living in the county. Onslow County has experienced the ravages of the opioid epidemic at a higher level than many communities. Jacksonville (the County Seat), was ranked as the 12th top city for opioid abuse in the U.S. according to the Castlight Health report with 8.2% of individuals receiving and abusing an opioid prescription. Opioid use has affected every aspect of Onslow County from individuals, families, schools, healthcare, and the criminal justice system. The project will provide Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), therapeutic counseling and recovery case management in the Onslow County Detention Center (OCDC). The three target populations are opioid-addicted pregnant women, those currently receiving MAT from a community provider when booked into OCDC, and then ramping up to include inmates initially assessed with an opioid dependency and a misdemeanor conviction. In addition, each individual will be connected to appropriate MAT, evidence-based therapeutic counseling and recovery support services in the community upon release. These services will include recovery housing, health, education/training, and employment support coordinated by the Recovery Support Case Manager and a N.C. Certified Peer Support Specialist. The goals of this project are to: Mitigate the risk of overdose for persons with opioid use disorder after release. Decrease recidivism - Stemming the cycle of arrest, incarceration, and release associated with substance use disorders (SUDs), as individuals with SUDs return to the community without connection to treatment. Reduce costs – Comprehensive drug treatment programs in jails are associated with reduced system costs.