Somerville Villen Continues Her Good Work with Full Circle Recovery Center, LLC


On September 17th, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced $1.8 million to support rural communities in reducing morbidity and mortality related to opioid overdoses. 
The Rural Opioid Overdose Reversal (ROOR) Grant Program supports the purchase and placement of naloxone (a drug that reverses symptoms of an opioid overdose), and training for its use in rural areas by licensed healthcare professionals and emergency responders as well as local community members who might be a bystander to an overdose. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the effects of prescription opioid abuse are more prominent in rural communities. In 2013, drug overdose rates for deaths involving prescription opioids were higher in rural counties compared to urban counties. Since 1999, the number of unintentional medication or drug overdose death in North Carolina has increased by more than 300%. Drug overdose deaths continue to take nearly 1,000 lives in North Carolina each year.

The pilot program, developed by HHS’ Federal Office of Rural Health Policy at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), will support partnerships formed at the local level to coordinate care. Earlier this year, the Macon Overdose Prevention Coalition (MOPC) was formed and with the support of the ROOR grant will now expand to include a multi-disciplinary coalition of local government, fire departments, law enforcement, emergency responders, health facilities, harm reduction, mental health and substance abuse treatment programs, youth, parents & community members, local business owners, local pharmacies, academic organizations, and other non-profit or for-profit entities involved in the prevention and treatment of opioid overdoses. 

The MOPC will collaborate with the NC Harm Reduction Coalition to increase the availability and use of the opioid antagonist naloxone in Macon County, with the a emphasis of getting them the opioid antagonist to save a life, while also providing the community information on community resources and services that relate to people who use opioids. The medication will be available for free. Each of the 18 grant recipients which represent 13 states, will be awarded $100,000 over one year. North Carolina will be host to two of the grants, the other of which will focus on Vance County.


Often described as a “miracle drug” that brings people back from the brink of death, naloxone is a safe, effective medication that temporarily blocks the effects of opioids in the brain long enough to restore breathing in a person experiencing respiratory failure from an opioid overdose. The North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition began offering naloxone along with overdose prevention training to community members on August 1st of 2013, four months after the passage of the 911 Good Samaritan law in North Carolina. The 911 Good Samaritan law encourages people to seek medical help for an overdose by offering limited immunity for some drug, alcohol, and probation/parole violation offenses. It also grants civil and criminal immunity to anyone who administers naloxone in good faith and allows community-based organizations to distribute naloxone through a special prescription (a standing order) from a medical provider.
Secretary Burwell has made addressing opioid abuse, dependence, and overdose a priority and work is underway within HHS on this important issue. The evidence-based initiative focuses on three promising areas: informing opioid prescribing practices, increasing the use of Naloxone, and using medication-assisted treatment to move people out of opioid addiction. The Obama Administration is also committed to combating the prescription drug and heroin epidemic, proposing significant investments to intensify efforts to reduce opioid use disorder.


The Macon Overdose Prevention Coalition invites you to ‘hold onto hope until the last breath is drawn’. Please join us in preventing overdoses in Macon County. To learn more about the MOPC or to get an opioid overdose reversal kit for free, contact Stephanie Almeida at 828-475-1920 or join the MOPC’s FB page at The life you save may be your loved one!


This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number D94RH29279 titled Rural Access to Emergency Devices-Opioid Overdose Reversal Grant Program for grant amount $100,000. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.
Contact: Stephanie Almeida 617-828-9184

Full Circle Recovery Center, LLC

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