FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Cumberland County officials are outlining budget plans for almost $1 million to boost opioid recovery. The county is collaborating with local and state agencies supporting addicts to fight struggles with substance abuse.
County officials said four agencies addressing opioid addiction are slated to receive funding of about $800,000 during the next two years. It's part of the $17 million the county is getting from the state stretched over the next 18 years for the issue.
It's the latest installment in a wide-ranging effort, and the money is sorely needed.
The county's health department said Cumberland County's rate of opioid-related deaths is nearly twice that of North Carolina's.
"In Cumberland County, we have had more emergency room visits than anybody in the state of North Carolina. For opiates, we have to make an impact," said Glenn Adams, a member of the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners. "That's why we went with these some of these early intervention plans and some of these things to be able to do this, to keep these folks healthy and try to get them off these opiates."
Adams said Carolina Recovery and Myrover-Reese Fellowship Homes will be getting some of the funds.
Money will also go to the Cumberland County drug court as well as the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition. The county's detention center has already been receiving funds for medication-assistance treatment.
"We have not used up all of our money," Adams said. "There are some money that came in the spring. There's some money that comes in the summer and then some other funds. So as we held back some funds, it may be to do something even bigger with the next settlements that's coming in."
One advocate explained that drug abuse in Cumberland County is such a big issue in part because of its position as a largely low-income, transient area.
"We're on the I-95 corridor. So, you know, drug trafficking, things traveling up I-95, we're kind of a middle-way point," said Charlton Roberson, of North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition. "So whatever's going on in Miami or even New York, it invariably winds up here in Fayetteville."
It's anticipated Cumberland County will receive more funds on top of the $17 million for opioid recovery support because of five other proposed national settlements. Still, advocates encourage the public to donate to the area's organizations fighting substance abuse.
They say each dollar can help save lives.