JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.—The Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) awarded $810,452 through the Neighborhood Assistance Program to five organizations helping to fight opioid misuse in Missouri. The decision was part of the statewide effort to combat opioid misuse and its affects.
“The opioid epidemic reaches into our workplaces and our communities. The responsibility to fight this can’t just fall to one state department,” said Rob Dixon, Director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development. “It’s critical that we stem the effect this issue is having on our workforce and subsequently our entire economy.”
In 2016, there were 908 opioid- or heroin-related deaths in the state; this is a 35% increase over 2015. 2.5 people overdosed and died every day last year, compared with 1.8 the year before. One out of every 66 deaths in the state was due to opioid or opiate misuse in 2016—a significant increase from 2015 when one out of every 89 deaths were opioid-related.
“Governor Greitens has charged his cabinet with taking a coordinated, integrated and innovative approach to helping all those families and individuals affected by the opioids crisis,” Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Director Randall Williams, MD said. “We have traveled throughout the state and listened to the many ways this has affected Missourians; it is our goal to help people not face this challenge alone.”
The Fiscal Year 2019 cycle for the Neighborhood Assistance Program is expected to open in early March when the new application and guidelines become available. Organizations may submit an application at that time. Projects for the Fiscal Year 2019 cycle will begin July 1, 2018.
The following not-for-profit organizations have been approved for the tax credits under the Neighborhood Assistance Program to help fight opioid misuse:
The Salvation Army in St. Louis has been approved for $100,000:
The Salvation Army will direct Neighborhood Assistance Program donations to their Midtown Services and Treatment Center (MSTC) and the O'Fallon Center, which will help clients stop using drugs, stay drug-free, and be productive in the family, at work, and in society. MSTC provides services to low income men and women, ages 18 and older, seeking substance abuse treatment and who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless. The O'Fallon Center provides the homeless with shelter and support services to single women and families, primarily from St. Charles, Lincoln, and Warren counties.
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (NCADA) in St. Louis has been approved for $236,000:
NCADA will direct Neighborhood Assistance Program donations for the training to use and distribution of opioid kits, a public awareness campaign designed to get parents and children talking about prescription opioid drug misuse and illegal opioids, and production of two public service commercials designed to raise awareness of the risks of opioid misuse.
United Way of Greater St. Louis has been approved for $250,000:
In partnership with three key agencies, United Way of Greater St. Louis (UWGSL) will utilize Neighborhood Assistance Program funds to implement and provide opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment, to include Medication Assisted Treatment to uninsured postpartum mothers and their partners in St. Louis City and County. As needed, clients will receive medication for OUD, case management, individual and group therapy, OB-GYN services, and treatment for other medical and mental health issues.
The Skaggs Community Hospital Association in Branson has been approved for $74,452:
The Skaggs Community Hospital Association will utilize Neighborhood Assistance Program funds to facilitate an industry-recognized training for local medical providers to better train and expand the workforce equipped and willing to serve patients with substance use disorders (SUD), particularly those with OUDs. They will also provide a community awareness campaign to include public service announcements, brochures, billboard campaigns, and web-based communication.
Southwest Missouri Community Alliance in Joplin has been approved for $150,000:
The Southwest Missouri Community Alliance will utilize Neighborhood Assistance Program funds to launch and create a special series of 22 informational segments on opioid misuse, which will run on the local NBC affiliate throughout the year as well as other media outlets, concluding with the Findings Report. In addition, the Alliance will provide financial support for patients who cannot afford opioid treatment.
DED announced in August of 2017 that the department would prioritize applications in the "second round" of the 2018 Neighborhood Assistance Program received from Missouri non-profits to help fight opioid misuse in communities throughout the state, as part of a statewide effort led by Governor Eric Greitens.