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November 28, 2018

Coalition receives $200,000 grant to address Franklin County’s opioid crisis

Healthy Community Coalition has received a one-year $200,000 grant to examine the opioid crisis in Franklin County and develop a strategic action plan to address it through prevention, expanding treatment options and workforce development.

Funding for the Rural Communities Opioid Response Planning grant comes from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration.

Maine is among the top 10 states with the highest rates of opioid-related overdose deaths, with 418 drug-induced deaths­­­ being reported statewide in 2017, representing an 11% increase over the previous year. Locally, Franklin County has been identified by the Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as having a more at-risk population for opioid misuse.

Through funding from the grant, Healthy Community Coalition will work closely with several community organizations — including Evergreen Behavioral Services, Farmington Police Department, Franklin Community Health Network, Franklin County Sheriff's Office, Maine Primary Care Association, Spruce Mountain Adult Education, Western Maine Area Health Education Center and Wilson Stream Family Practice.

Healthy Community Coalition Executive Director Jennifer McCormack said the grant will enable the coalition to build upon its existence substance-abuse-prevention efforts and create a community-wide response to the opioid epidemic in Franklin County.

Grant activities include expanding current prevention and treatment programs, establishing rapid access to medication assisted therapies, substance use treatment career explorations and community events to reduce substance use and treatment stigma.

Founded in 1989, Healthy Community Coalition is an affiliate of the Franklin Community Health Network working to improve the health and well-being of our families, neighbors, and the communities where we live and work.

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