With Overdoses Rising, Reed & Whitehouse Seek to Help CODAC and First Responders Save Lives
New $1.5 million in federal addiction treatment and overdose prevention funds include $750,000 earmark to help CODAC upgrade its facilities & expand access to effective treatment and recovery services and $800,000 to train first responders on Narcan use and boost overdose prevention
PROVIDENCE, RI – As drug overdose rates spike and a growing number of people seek treatment services for substance use disorder, CODAC Behavioral Healthcare, the largest non-profit, outpatient provider for opioid treatment in Rhode Island, is expanding its operations with the help of federal funds secured by U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse.
Today, Reed and Whitehouse joined Linda Hurley, President and CEO of CODAC Behavioral Healthcare, to discuss a new $750,000 earmark for CODAC to support the renovation and modernization of a new flagship facility at 45 Royal Little Drive in Providence. CODAC’s new headquarters will offer medical and administration services at this new, consolidated site which will allow for medical expansion due to necessity and patient need. CODAC, which serves about 5,000 people, has outgrown its current 14,000-square foot site on Huntington Avenue forcing some staff having to create work spaces out of closets.
Reed and Whitehouse also announced a new $800,000 First Responders-Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Support Services Act Grant. This federal funding, which will be administered by the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH), trains and equips first responders -- such as police, firefighters, paramedics and other volunteer organizations -- on how to respond to overdose-related incidents, including how to administer overdose reversal medication naloxone (commonly known by the brand name Narcan). Between February 2020 and November 2021, RIDOH and its community partners distributed 10,000 doses of naloxone. Getting additional naloxone kits into the hands of first responders and community members will prevent fatal overdoses and save more lives.
“We are in the midst of an opioid overdose surge. It is a community-wide problem and a nationwide problem that requires both a community and national response. We need urgent action to stem the tide and save lives,” said Senator Reed, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee. “We need a surge resources, treatment, and outreach to effectively respond. That is what CODAC is doing here in Rhode Island. That is what Senator Whitehouse and I are doing in the United States Senate. We’re making sure treatment and recovery programs are available, accessible, and affordable. We are working to remove the stigma surrounding addiction and overdoses. We are supporting law enforcement in their efforts to crack down on drug trafficking and ensure first responders can administer life-saving medicine that reverses an opioid overdose. This will help save lives and get more people the help they need, when they need it.”
“The disease of addiction has touched far too many families from every walk of life. It’s so important that convenient high-quality care is available for people seeking help, and that's where CODAC comes in. CODAC is doing lifesaving work on the front lines of the opioid crisis, and I'm very pleased to join Senator Reed to deliver this funding to expand its services to more people on the long, noble road of recovery,” said Senator Whitehouse. “The expertise of Linda Hurley and her dedicated staff was instrumental in helping me craft the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, which continues to guide the federal response to the opioid epidemic.”
“As opioid deaths continue to climb, CODAC is committed to providing comprehensive and competent care. Senators Reed and Whitehouse have historically supported our mission, and now with this procurement are supporting our most recent effort to provide, cutting-edge, integrated care for those who come to us for services. The new building is not only much more conducive service provision, it is also a statement – that we respect those we serve with professionalism and compassion. Thanks so very much to our Senate delegation for all of their support,” said Linda Hurley, President and CEO of CODAC Behavioral Healthcare.
Last year, 435 Rhode Island residents died of accidental overdoses, according to RIDOH. Nationwide, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported more than 107,000 overdose deaths in the United States between December 2020 to December 2021, a 15 percent increase from the number of overdose deaths in 2020. Fentanyl, a highly potent synthetic opioid -- which, in its legal form is often used to relieve pain during and after surgeries, but is prevalent on the illicit market because it’s cheap to manufacture -- played a role in about 75 percent of all overdose deaths in Rhode Island, according to RIDOH, and 66 percent of all overdose deaths nationally, according to the CDC.
September is National Recovery Month and this week the federal delegation secured $7.4 million in federal State Opioid Response Grant funding to enhance statewide opioid addiction prevention, treatment, and recovery support services.
Founded in 1971, CODAC Behavioral Healthcare is Rhode Island’s oldest and largest non-profit, outpatient provider of treatment for Opioid Use Disorder. CODAC offers services at seven community-based locations, as well as programming at the Rhode Island Department of Corrections. CODAC also operates a 27-foot mobile treatment unit, a converted RV vehicle that has a dispensary examination and treatment room, as well as a counseling room, to treat people who want to stop using drugs.
Residents searching for substance treatment, peer recovery services, and treatment options like medication-assisted treatment (MAT), and other services may visit: https://preventoverdoseri.org