RACS Receives New Grant For Opioid Efforts

Rockbridge Area Community Services has received $180,000 to support its continuing battle against opioid abuse.

The money is from a nearly $52.6 million State Opioid Response grant that the state recently received from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

The Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, in announcing the grant receipt Oct. 1, said the federal funds will help Virginia fight the opioid epidemic from now through Sept. 30, 2022.

Of the $180,000 to be received by Rockbridge Area Community Services, $120,000 will be used for treatment and the remaining $60,000 for recovery efforts. The funds are allocated to the local agency in monthly installments.

RACS has received similar infusions of federal money for its opioid efforts since 2018.

SOR funding was first received in December 2018 and for FY2019, the agency received $118,000 for treatment and $75,000 for prevention. In FY2020, the funds amounted to $125,000 for treatment and recovery and $50,000 for prevention.

“This has been a valuable resource for Rockbridge Area Community Services as we continue to treat ongoing opioid addiction in our area,” said Greg Hornback, director of clinical services for RACS.

“These funds allow us to provide crisis counseling, individual and group therapy as well as medication assisted treatment,” he said. “We have been able to purchase educational materials to be used by our patients and their families. Drug testing, an important part of any treatment plan, has been improved and we have been able to develop staff positions specifically to assist in managing these cases.

“Addiction,” he said, “is a significant issue in the area. Our ability to respond to this crisis is greatly helped by this funding.

“These grant funds arrive at a crucial time as we deal with two public health emergencies: COVID-19 and the opioid crisis,” said state DBHDS Commissioner Alison Land. “Funding treatment and supporting those in recovery is more important than ever as the impacts of COVID-19 and social distancing present unique challenges for individuals with substance use disorder and those that serve them. We’re grateful to the federal, state, and local community partners who continue to make this work possible, under rapidly changing and difficult circumstances.”

Area residents facing an opioid-related crisis or any mental health crisis can call the 24-hour crisis line at (855) 222-2046. The regular RACS number is 463-3141. The non-emergency toll-free number is (877) 766-3105.

The News-Gazette

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