Response to Opioid Epidemic

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National Service Responds to Opioid Crisis - Fact Sheet

Over the past two years, CNCS has invested more than $27 million in opioid- and substance abuse-related AmeriCorps and Senior Corps projects. This two-year investment supports more than 2,800 AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members in 210 projects in all 50 states and Washington, DC. CNCS has again prioritized opioids and substance abuse prevention, reduction and recovery programming in its FY 2019 funding opportunities and encourages organizations working to combat this epidemic to explore how national service can expand their reach and impact.

National Service Programs in Action

Serving with Police Departments to Prevent Overdoses and Relapse 
Last year, 22 AmeriCorps members served in 53 police departments across Massachusetts through the Police Assisted Addiction & Recovery Initiative (PAARI) AmeriCorps program, helping more than 3,800 people with substance use disorders access treatment and recovery services. RSVP of Allen County collaborates with TRIAD, the National Sheriff’s Association, and the Governor’s Commission for a Drug-Free Indiana to conduct education presentations with members of local law enforcement.

Providing Drug Abuse Prevention and Education
In Tennessee, Senior Corps RSVP volunteers serving with the Roane County Anti-Drug Coalition deliver drug education to military veterans, organize training for medical professionals on proper prescribing practices, and participate in drug take back days. In Hawaii, VISTA members have coordinated drug prevention workshops and classes for more than 1,000 Hawaiian youth, including partnering with community organizations to provide opioid prevention education in the Marshallese and Chuukese languages. In Kentucky, Operation UNITE’s 54 AmeriCorps members provided drug abuse education to more than 3,300 students last year, resulting in a 51% average increase in drug education and healthy decision-making knowledge.

Building the Capacity of Drug Treatment and Recovery Organizations
In Pennsylvania, two AmeriCorps VISTA members serving at the Wright Center's Opioid Use Disorder Center of Excellence helped secure a $1.1 million grant to support ten primary care practices in implementing an evidence-based Medication-Assisted Treatment program, which combines medication with counseling and behavioral therapies to treat substance use disorders.

Supporting Safe Disposal of Prescription Drugs
CNCS has partnered with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to support National Prescription Drug Take Back Day to help Americans safely dispose of unwanted prescription medications. In October 2018, 52 Senior Corps projects in 25 states participated in drug take back events. Last year, 17 Senior Corps projects helped distribute 100,000 medication disposal bags to all 56 counties in Montana.

Serving as Recovery Coaches to Help Individuals Overcome Addiction 
In Wisconsin, the Marshfield Clinic Health System engages AmeriCorps members to serve as trained Recovery Coaches to provide services and support individuals overcoming addiction to remain drug-free. The Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital in New Hampshire engages AmeriCorps members to help individuals in recovery resolve non-clinical barriers to care such as housing, literacy, and transportation.

Providing Substance Abuse Screening and Assessments
University of Nebraska AmeriCorps members use the evidence-based Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) method to identify, reduce, and prevent dependence on drugs. Mercy Health in Ohio places AmeriCorps members in emergency departments across the state to provide education, treatment placement, and emotional support to patients with substance abuse disorders.

National Service in the News

Rio Arriba County to receive new federal help with opioid crisis
The Albuquerque Journal (NM), August 18, 2017
Rio Arriba County will soon have new federal support to combat its ongoing addiction epidemic through AmeriCorps VISTA’s first opioid-centric program in New Mexico. According to a Wednesday news release, a grant from AmeriCorps VISTA – a program that places teams within communities who then work alongside local organizations to address specific issues – will provide seven volunteer positions annually over the next five years to work with county-based organizations that are combating effects of opioid addiction.

AmeriCorps members to help with New Hampshire drug crisis
Associated Press (NH), August 9, 2017
Sixteen AmeriCorps members will be helping 480 people with substance use disorders and behavioral health needs in New Hampshire. Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital in Lebanon, a Dartmouth-Hitchcock facility, is getting a grant from the federal agency that oversees volunteering and service programs specifically aimed at combating the state's opioid epidemic. AmeriCorps members will serve as community health workers to help patients overcome barriers to treatment, such as housing, literacy and transportation problems. The hospital will provide $240,000 in matching support and other resources in addition to the $315,000 in federal funds.

Richmond to receive additional federal resources to fight opioid epidemic
The Augusta Free Press (VA), August 2, 2017
Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced that the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has awarded federal AmeriCorps funding to the City of Richmond Human Services Commission to combat the opioid epidemic and its devastating effects on families, communities, workplaces, health care, and the state. The City of Richmond, through the Richmond AmeriCorps Healthy Futures Project, will utilize a coalition to provide education, prevention, reduction and recovery services. The grant, totaling $254,397 includes $138,186 in federal grants and $116,211 was matched by the coalition partners. “The opioid epidemic continues to take a toll on communities throughout the Commonwealth,” said Governor McAuliffe.

Marshfield Clinic Health System starting new program to curb drug abuse (WI), May 4, 2017
A new program from Marshfield Clinic Health System will be launched in September to help people suffering from substance abuse in northern Wisconsin. MCHS Recovery Corps program is a part of AmeriCorps, a national service network launched in 1994 under the Clinton administration as part of the National and Community Service Trust Act. Since then, nearly 1 million AmeriCorps members have contributed approximately 1.2 billion hours in service across the country. The new program is recruiting 20 full-time AmeriCorps members to work as recovery coaches throughout the area served by the HOPE Consortium, a partnership of 10 different organizations working to address issues related to opioid abuse.

Drug Addiction Prevention Pilot Program Announced
WNBF (NY), April 10, 2017
AmeriCorps members are to work with the Rural Health Network of South Central New York, United Health Services, Southern Tier AIDS Program and Lourdes Hospital as well as the County to get services to users and to provide education on the dangers of opioid use, especially in rural areas. Broome County’s Opioid Abuse Council was awarded $15,000 dollars by the Care Compass Network to start the program. Four AmeriCorps Program Associates will be enrolled full-time or 6 months with a living allowance stipend of $6,265 plus a Segal Education Award of $2,887.50.

As overdose deaths rise, Colorado plans addiction-prevention efforts
The Durango Herald (CO), September 13, 2017
With the opioid epidemic reaching unprecedented national levels and more heroin flowing into Southwest Colorado, additional addiction-prevention work is set to start this fall. In October, 12 AmeriCorps members will be hired across the state as part of the Colorado AmeriCorps Community Opioid Response Program, and two will be hired for a year to work in Southwest Colorado to organize prevention events and education. The program is funded through federal and state grants. AmeriCorps members will organize educational events taught by experts for doctors and other prescribers around the use of opioids, such as oxycodone. Members will also organize education around safe storage and disposal of medication for the community and events for students, said Kathleen McInnis, executive director of Southwestern Colorado Area Health Education Center.

Current Funding Opportunities

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