Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $1,300,000)
Our community continues to struggle with the opioid and substance abuse crisis. In 2016, Jacksonville NC (in Onslow County) was ranked in the Castlight Health report (The Opioid Crisis in America’s Workforce) as the 12th top City for opioid abuse rate in the US, with 8.2% of people in our community who receive and abuse an opioid prescription. The report stated that approximately 16,000 residents struggle with prescription abuse. Current statistics show that we have a significant problem including a rise in overdose deaths following the COVID-19 pandemic. The Onslow County rate of death from overdose increased by 85% from 2019 to 2021.
The City of Jacksonville, North Carolina is applying for a grant in the amount of $1,300,000 under Category 1 – Subcategory 1b. The 2022 Jacksonville NC COSSAP project will expand on the successes of the 2019 project and continue to partner with stakeholders in developing and executing a comprehensive effort to respond to, treat and support those impacted by the opioid and substance abuse crisis. The project’s goal is to decrease overdose deaths in our community by developing resources that provide services to individuals struggling with opioid and substance use disorders and their family members.
The project will be comprised of seven components. Redevelopment of a Quick Response Team, a focused effort to allow individuals to be diverted from the justice system at the two lowest levels of the Sequential Intercept Model; Intercept 0 Community Services and Intercept 1 Law Enforcement. The project will support implementation of peer navigators within the community paramedic program for overdose victims encountered through emergency medical services to swiftly direct them to services and assist with case management after encounter. The project includes a Law Assisted Diversion Program to direct low level drug offenders to treatment and prevent them from entering criminal justice system. The program will include an Overdose Fatality Review Team to bring together various stakeholders with different perspectives to review overdose deaths. The project will include Child Psychology Services to provide therapy for children with adverse childhood experiences due to exposure to substance abuse in additional to a substance abuse counselor to work with the school system providing education and referral services to families experiencing SUDs. The project will also include evaluation utilizing experienced social science research evaluators.
This project will serve individuals in the City of Jacksonville (pop 72,447) and the County of Onslow, NC (pop 193,893).
The project includes partners from the governmental, non-profit and service provider business entities. These partners include: Onslow County, Onslow County Department of Social Services, Onslow County Health Department, Onslow County Emergency Services, the Dix Crisis Center, Integrated Family Services, the Onslow County District Attorney’s Office, District and Superior Court Judges, Onslow County Schools, Onslow Memorial Hospital, and the Onslow County Partnership for Children. This project will engage Dr. Christina Lanier and Dr. Kristen DeVall, Professors of Sociology and Criminology at University of North Carolina- Wilmington as the research partner for this project.