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Funds provided to fight opioid crisis locally

Grant allows WAMHC to provide education, outreach across area

West Alabama Mental Health Center (WAMHC) has received an $181,250 substance abuse prevention grant from the Alabama Department of Mental Health (DMH) to provide education and outreach on the opioid crisis. The funding will be provided through the State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grants administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and provided through the 21st Century Cures Act.

Patricia Moore, executive director for the Mental Health Center, said the grant will allow the center to address the opioid problem on a local level. The center’s opioid-specific services are available now.

The Center’s program will be aimed at reducing and preventing prescription and over-the-counter drug misuse and raising community awareness about the dangers of using medications for anything other than their intended use. The prevention program will work with numerous community partners such as local school systems and law enforcement to raise community awareness. It will also hold town hall meetings, health fairs, Drug Take Back and other events.

The grant funds are in addition to the state funds used to provide treatment services for substance abuse disorder. The opioid crisis grant funds are designated to serve Hale, Marengo and Sumter counties.

Substance abuse treatment services are available for residents in Choctaw, Greene, Hale, Marengo and Sumter counties who meet eligibility criteria. There is no fee for these services as long as DMH contract funds are available. For services and additional information please call 800-239-2901 or 334-289-2410. West Alabama Mental Health Center is a 501- (c) (3) non-profit organization.

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, May 2 issue of the Demopolis Times.)