The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS)  announced on Thursday, May 9, that it will be distributing $6,250,000 to seven counties to be spent toward preventing youth substance abuse.

Unfortunately, Guilford County was one of the 93 counties that won’t be receiving any money. The funding is being directed to counties that “experience high levels of economic distress, have a higher-than-average level of substance use among youth and young adults and have a higher number of youths who primarily identify as a racial or ethnic minority.”

The money is originating from a federal program – the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration – as part of its National Drug Control Strategy.

North Carolina was one of only a dozen states to receive the funding.

According to stats provided by the state, over 1.2 million people in North Carolina have a substance use problem.

The counties and organizations selected are:

  • Duplin County – NC Cooperative Extension 4-H
  • Halifax County – Insight Human Services
  • Hoke County – Tia Hart Community Recovery Program
  • Martin County – Martin Tyrrell Washington District Health Department
  • Robeson County – Robeson Health Care Corporation
  • Tyrrell County – Martin Tyrrell Washington District Health Department
  • Washington County – Martin Tyrrell Washington District Health Department

NC DHHS Division of Mental Health Director Kelly Crosbie said it’s important to address substance use problems early in life.

“We are grateful to our federal partners for investing in North Carolina’s children and youth,” Crosbie said.  “Developmental Disabilities and Substance Use Services. The majority of substance use issues start earlier in life, which is why early intervention is critical. By getting children the support they deserve and need, we are investing in a brighter future for them, their families and our communities.”

NC DHHS is helping the organizations put strategies in place that address substance misuse in kids.

Goals of the programs include “reducing the progression of high-risk drinking behaviors and/or underage alcohol use, reducing prescription medication misuse, reducing cannabis product use, and reducing negative consequences related to substance misuse among youth and young adults ages 12 to 25.”