May 25, 2023 – Beaufort, NC Similar to most counties in North Carolina, Carteret County is feeling the impact of the Opioid Epidemic. It has one of the highest opioid overdose rates and death rates despite the widespread use of Buprenorphine based MAT programs and Narcan intervention for overdoses. The incidence of opioid use, addiction, accidental overdoses, and overdose deaths are having a major impact on public health and public safety.
The Sheriff’s Office, District Attorney’s Office and the Courts allow certain inmates who qualify to attend drug rehabilitation programs. The inmates are supervised by the Sheriff’s Office pre-trial release deputies and must follow strict conditions. These programs are aimed at helping individuals achieve long-term recovery in an effort to reduce recidivism, reduce crime and increase public safety.
A grant offered by the NC Department of Public Safety has made available funding to county Sheriffs throughout North Carolina to start or expand their MAT services. Through a partnership with The Recovery Platform (TRP) and Open Water Medical practice, the Carteret County Sheriff’s Office submitted an application and was awarded a grant to implement MAT at the point of system entry. Therefore, behavioral health wrap-around services were additionally contracted from Triad Behavioral Resources (Triad) to deliver a comprehensive MAT program to support the addiction treatment for inmates released to the program. This program will make Vivitrol injections available to program participants. Vivitrol is an injectable medication that blocks the use of opioids, reduces cravings and remains in the person’s system for 30 days.
Sheriff Asa Buck stated, “We are excited to have this funding provided to our jail so that we can provide these injections to help bridge the gap for those who are working towards recovery. Our recovery program has seen good success rates for the past few years. I believe the addition of Vivitrol injections will help to see even more success among our participants. Helping those who suffer from addiction is a win-win for everyone all the way around.”
With over 30 years of delivering patient care in five medical practice locations, Open Water Medical provides individualized healthcare throughout eastern North Carolina. Family medicine is the practice’s primary focus with an emphasis on chronic conditions like diabetes & high cholesterol but they have been working in the addiction medicine space by providing MAT for many years. Founder and director, Kerry Willis, MD, believes that “addiction to opioids is a chronic disease that we can effectively treat with available medication and the mental health services that promote long-term recovery”. Dr. Willis further states, “I believe that addiction treatment has to be part of primary care and integrated with care for other problems and conditions to get the best possible outcomes, and we are excited to partner with TRP’s technology and the virtual network of behavioral health professionals made available by Triad”.
Triad Behavioral Resources, (Triad) is a North Carolina medical practice that recruits and manages multidisciplinary care teams to treat Substance Use Disorders (SUDs). It leverages TRP’s practice management technology and follows a treatment delivery model developed by the NC Medical Society Foundation, Project VBOT (Virtual Based Opioid Treatment). “This is our first opportunity to provide services to public safety and we believe this program will reduce criminal recidivism”, says David Bolton, Triad’s founder and clinical director. Bolton adds that “this MAT delivery model can pay significant dividends for rural counties throughout the state”.
About The Recovery Platform
The Recovery Platform (TRP) is a SUD-specific platform that facilitates and guides physician compliance and patient engagement when practicing Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT). By leveraging its concierge-like patient functionality it expands access and privacy for treatment to more patients. TRP’s technology automates the monitoring and ingestion of patient data which is analyzed and reported to support more complete and timely clinical decisions. TRP features patient self-scheduling to increase patient engagement while embedded telemedicine functionality increases access and privacy, improving appointment attendance and retention.
For more Information Contact:
Reynold Yordy, CTO
(615) 642 – 0061
Keary McClernan, Project Coordinator
Sheriff Asa Buck