Sunday - June 16, 2019
Governor Outlines Opioid Response
Written by Staff   
Tuesday, 11 June 2019 15:14

RALEIGH – At the opening of the 2019 Opioid Summit, Governor Roy Cooper highlighted the state’s progress in addressing the opioid epidemic over the last two years and launched the updated Opioid Action Plan 2.0 to continue to combat this issue in North Carolina.

Since the plan was launched in 2017, opioid dispensing has decreased by 24%. Prescriptions for drugs used to treat opioid use disorders increased by 15% in that time frame, and opioid use disorder treatment specifically for uninsured and Medicaid beneficiaries is up by 20%. There were nearly 10% fewer emergency department visits for opioid overdoses in 2018 than in 2017.

In addition, North Carolina has received more than $54 million in federal funding, which has provided treatment for over 12,000 individuals with substance use disorder.

“The numbers show the progress, but it’s the stories that paint a picture,” said Governor Cooper at the Summit. “Too many families and their loved ones are still suffering, and we must do more. That’s why we’re launching the North Carolina Opioid Action Plan 2.0 and fighting to improve access to healthcare through Medicaid expansion.”

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D., spoke on the importance of reducing risk and improving access to treatment. “The progress we’ve made shows what we can achieve when we partner across agencies and organizations and with those on the ground in communities. But there is much more to do. Moving forward we need to work even harder to focus on prevention, reduce harm and connect people to care.”

The North Carolina Opioid Action Plan 2.0 updates the 2017 plan with feedback from partners and stakeholders. Action Plan 2.0 includes local strategies that counties, coalitions and stakeholders can use to fight the opioid epidemic, which claimed five lives a day in North Carolina to unintentional overdose in 2017.

 

 
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