Gloucester County will be hosting small table discussions on enhancing existing opioid addiction services in the community Dec. 12 from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Gloucester Main Library Community Room. Service providers, family, friends, those in recovery, or anyone impacted by the crisis are encouraged to attend and share their experiences and recommendations.
Gloucester is slated to receive an estimated total of $678,362 distributed in annual installments through fiscal year 2039 from the Commonwealth’s Opioid Abatement Fund. This fund is a result of a $26 billion national settlement with opioid distributors and manufacturers. The County is using the Dec. 12 forum and other means to receive public input to help guide decisions on how the funding will be allocated within the County to help combat the opioid epidemic locally.
The funding must be utilized to treat, prevent, or reduce opioid use disorder or the misuse of opioids through evidence-based or evidence-informed methods, programs, or strategies. Examples of eligible expenditures include medication-assisted treatment; prevention programs; support for those in treatment and recovery; to address the needs of pregnant or parenting women; research; training and more.
According to Gloucester Sheriff Darrell Warren, Gloucester has had 20 opioid overdose deaths in the last two years.
“Even one death due to drug overdose is one too many,” said Steve Wright, Gloucester’s Deputy County Administrator, who is overseeing the program locally. “Our intent is to use this and other community engagement opportunities to learn first-hand from our citizens who are or have been directly impacted by the opioid crisis. We want to know how we can best utilize this funding to help our residents and work to combat this terrible epidemic.” In order to help staff prepare for this event, attendees are requested to RSVP by clicking here. Any questions regarding the forum can be directed to Steve Wright at email@example.com or 804-693-4042, or Gloria Williams, Community Engagement and Public Information Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or 804-693-5730.