The city of Huntington will receive a $2 million dollar grant to help curb the substance use epidemic.
The grant was awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and will fund a network that will help case navigators improve outreach to those who have fallen out of care.
Director of Huntington’s Council on Public Health and Drug Control Policy Jan Rader says the project will help the city cast a broader net and help those slipping through the cracks.
“We have a lot of wonderful people doing wonderful work. But we’re not able to keep up with people who drop out of the system,” Rader said. “We want to be able to capture that person again, and maybe plug them in somewhere where they feel more comfortable.”
The project, called the Training Responders to Assess, Initiate, and Navigate project, or TRAIN, is also set to help train first responders and other community agencies on how to treat substance use disorder.
These agencies include the Huntington police and fire departments, the Provider Response Organization for Addiction Care and Treatment (PROACT), the Quick Response Team (QRT), the Cabell-Huntington Health Department and Harmony House, a Huntington-based group that provides housing and services for the homeless.
“There are a lot of new first responders who haven’t had extensive training. And we want to provide that training for them. But not only for them, but for people in the public,” Rader said. “You know, it might be on just Naloxone administration, but also like on things like motivational interviewing, and ways to get people engaged in a program that can assist them with their substance use disorder.”
TRAIN plans to train more than 550 people within the next four years.
Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting with support from Charleston Area Medical Center and Marshall Health.