Onslow County receives $400,000 to combat opioid epidemic
More than $16 million has been distributed to local governments in North Carolina from the National Opioid Settlement. Onslow County has received almost $400,000. The county plans to use the funds to form a Strategic Opioid Advanced Response Team which will help determine what recovery services are needed and set benchmarks to measure the program’s success. Assistant County Manager Sheri Slater says the SOAR team will include law enforcement and medical professionals as well as community members.
“Those folks will all come together and talk about the services we already have in our community because we don’t want to duplicate. And they’ll talk about the gaps that we have, the places that we don’t really meet the need, and the ways that we can best do that in our community so that we put this money to good use.”
Onslow County has yet to spend any of the settlement funds since the county has not finalized its budget. According to a 2019 Castlight Health Report, Jacksonville was ranked as the 12th top city for opioid abuse in the United States. Onslow’s opioid death rate per 100,000 people was 37 in 2021 while the national average was 28, according to the CDC.