Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $1,198,628)
Gaston County, NC Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Site-based Project Drug Diversion and Treatment Program
The purpose of the Gaston County, NC Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Site-based Project is to initiate the following activities: 1) Bring together multiple county entities— substance abuse treatment providers, law enforcement, courts, health care providers, and the faith-based community—to collaborate in implementing a law enforcement assisted diversion program (LEAD); 2) augment treatment and recovery services for individuals who are at high risk for overdose and recidivism and are participants in Recovery Court; and 3) incorporate transitional/recovery housing assistance and certified peer recovery support services into both the LEAD and the Recovery Court programs. Expected outcomes are to improve public safety, reduce criminal recidivism, and reduce the associated costs of legal and criminal-justice-service utilization. The service area is all of Gaston County, the seventh largest county in NC, with a population of 230,226. The project expects to serve approximately fifty participants yearly: twenty-five through LEAD and twenty-five within the Recovery Court.
The Gaston County Police Department is the lead agency. Partners include the District Attorney’s Office, Olive Branch Ministry-an affiliate of the NC Harm Reduction Coalition, and the Gaston County Controlled Substance Coalition. The Coalition is a permanent.task force of community leaders that will serve as the multi-disciplinary body for the project. The District Attorney’s Office will assign an Assistant District Attorney to both the Operational and Coordinating Groups. Olive Branch Ministry will provide training for stakeholders in the principles of harm reduction and will provide certified peer support specialists. The project will also identify a contracted source to provide evidence-based clinical assessments and individualized treatment plans.
The Gaston County Police Department will supervise three full-time positions: a LEAD Case Manager, a Recovery Court Case Manager, and a Project Coordinator. Case management will focus on the whole individual and stress comprehensive assessment, service planning, and service coordination. The Project Coordinator’s roles and responsibilities will include consulting with the multi-disciplinary coalition, overseeing the programmatic and financial components of the grant, collaborating with stakeholders to develop program resources (e.g., policies, protocols, and screening forms), arranging trainings, troubleshooting stakeholders’ concerns, identifying resources, facilitating meetings, developing information-sharing systems in collaboration with the coalition, and streamlining communication