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Cumberland County could get an opioid recovery center. Here’s what that means.


The Cumberland County Board of Commissioners will gather Thursday for its first agenda session of the month, with discussions slated to include a possible opioid use recovery center off Raeford Road.

During the 1 p.m. meeting at the Cumberland County courthouse, Health Director Dr. Jennifer Green is set to request $650,000 in funding over three years for a “Recovery Community Center,” according to a memorandum from Green. 

“The funding will support a three-year pilot program to establish a C-FORT Recovery Center in an existing county building (707 Executive Place),” Green wrote. 

C-FORT is the Cumberland-Fayetteville Opioid Response Team, a subcommittee created to develop a proposal for the center after commissioners recommended exploring options for one in August 2022, according to a presentation submitted by Green.

The money stems from $56 billion in national settlements with opioid companies that North Carolina has received since 2021, with Cumberland County on schedule to receive $30 million over 18 years, according to Green. County commissioners decided in 2022 to fund longer-term strategies for tackling opioid use, Green said.

Green wrote that the center would offer the following services:

  • Weekly overdose prevention education classes. 
  • A weekly recovery support group.
  • Peer support services. 
  • Overdose prevention supplies, including masks, Naloxone, test strips for fentanyl and Xylazine and disposable rescue breathing masks. 
  • UberHealth transportation to recovery support services.
  • Testing for sexually transmitted infections, HIV and hepatitis. 
  • Connections to resources for people leaving the Cumberland County Detention Center. 
  • Connections to resources for prenatal care and education. 
  • Connections to treatment options. 
  • A mobile interpreter. 
  • Referrals to the county’s Connected Care Program.
  • Connections to treatment for minor wounds. 
  • Services from other community partners.

The center would look to partner with Alliance Health, the Cape Fear Valley Health system, the county’s Department of Social Services, Methodist University and several other organizations and programs, according to Green’s presentation.

The health department plans to gauge the center’s effectiveness through a number of metrics, including the number of participants who stayed in treatment, the number of naloxone kits distributed and the number of participants served who use opioids or have opioid use disorder, Green wrote.

The $650,000 would be staggered over three years, with $250,000 to be used in the center’s first year of life to do repairs and renovations at the building and to purchase needed supplies, equipment and furniture, Green said. In its second and third years, the center will have $200,000 of funding each year.

The center would be open Monday-Friday, with at least two days offering evening hours, and would operate out of the county’s current Community Development building, Green said.

Green is requesting the board place the item on the consent agenda for its Feb. 19 regular meeting. If the board approves her request, it would authorize spending for the center beginning Feb. 20 and ending on June 30, 2027, according to Green’s presentation.

The center would need three full-time employees — a manager for the recovery center, a peer support specialist and an office assistant, Green said.

In other business:

  • The board will consider placing a request to allocate $2.8 million of its ARPA funding to the Completing Access to Broadband (CAB) program on its consent agenda for the Feb. 19 meeting. The request was previously unanimously approved by the board’s American Rescue Plan Committee on Jan. 25.
  • The board will consider placing an approval for $10 million in ARPA funding for the Gray’s Creek water and sewer project on its Feb. 19 consent agenda. That request was also unanimously approved at the Jan. 25 ARP Committee meeting.
  • The board will consider a request from Michael O’Hern, the principal investor of the company that owns Fayetteville Steel, to expand the steel distributor’s site by accessing a plot of county-owned land. Fayetteville Steel is currently located at 4801 Research Drive, but O’Hern wants to purchase a 1.19-acre site deemed undevelopable by the county so he can grow his business, according to a Feb. 2 memorandum from the county attorney. While O’Hern looks for a surveyor to assess the site, county staff are recommending that the board approve access to the plot so he can expand the site while he waits to purchase the land, the memorandum states.

Reporter Lexi Solomon can be reached at lsolomon@cityviewnc.com or 910-423-6500.

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Cumberland County Board of Commissioners, opioids, substance abuse, health department