REIDSVILLE, N.C. — Two years after the development of the North Carolina Opioid Action Plan in 2017, ALEF Behavioral Health Group, the first opioid treatment provider in Rockingham County, will open its doors.

According to the organization Rockingham County is one of the counties in North Carolina that has been hardest hit by the opioid epidemic, being one of 421 “high-risk” counties nationally.

In a press release, ALEF shares Rockingham County had the 7th highest rate of opioid overdose Emergency Department visits (per 100,000 residents) in North Carolina, according to the North Carolina Division of Public Health. During the first eight months of 2019, there were 64 opioid overdose ED visits in Rockingham County.

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“We are bringing comprehensive medication-assisted treatment – and hope – to people in Rockingham County with opioid addiction,” said Ronald Flack, Jr., President and CEO of ALEF Behavioral Group. “Now they can find evidence-based treatment options right here in their home community, along with counselors and medical staff who can help them navigate the path to recovery.”

The center will offer medication-assisted treatment combined with individual and group counseling, behavioral therapy and other programs.

“We specifically chose Rockingham County for our first opioid treatment center because of its high opioid addiction rate and its lack of a certified opioid treatment provider,” Flack said. “As the study suggested, we hope to reduce the number of opioid-related deaths through our program.”

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As an opioid treatment provider, ALEF has to meet strict requirements for certification and licensing by numerous agencies, including the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the North Carolina State Opioid Treatment Authority (SOTA).

The company plans to open a second location in High Point in February 2020, with additional locations planned in North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland by 2022.

Flack announced at the event that ALEF Behavioral Group has launched an initiative called the “ALEF Branch to the Community,” which will provide 12 scholarships for six months of free treatment to specific groups in Rockingham County, which can in turn designate area residents they determine are in need of opioid addiction treatment to receive the scholarships.

“It’s our way of letting the community know that we are fully invested in helping with this problem,” he said.

One scholarship for six months of treatment will be awarded to each of the following:

  • Reidsville Police Department
  • Reidsville Fire Department
  • Eden Police Department
  • Eden Fire Department
  • Rockingham County EMS
  • Reidsville Mayor's Office
  • Cardinal Innovations
  • Daymark Recovery Services
  • Rockingham County Department of Social Services
  • Rockingham County Vocational Rehab / NC Works Program
  • UNC Rockingham Health Care
  • Cone Health Annie Penn Hospital of Reidsville

The basic requirements for each scholarship recipient are:

  • Must be a resident of Rockingham County
  • Must produce/show financial need
  • Must be committed to treatment and committed to becoming a productive citizen of Rockingham County

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