Frederick County has been awarded two grants, totaling almost $2 million, to help Frederick County combat the opioid epidemic.
A 2023 First Responders – Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (FR-CARA) Grant comes from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in the amount of $1.8 million over the next four years.
The second grant awarded was from the Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts (FORE), worth $150,000 to be utilized over the next two years.
These grants will expand the Division of Fire and Rescue Service’s (DFRS) partnership with the Frederick County Health Department, as they continue to operate the Community Outreach And Support Team (COAST). “We are very proud of our partnership with DFRS that has created a program with effective interventions and positive outcomes,” said Andrea Walker, director, Behavioral Health Services Division and Local Behavioral Health Authority.
COAST is a collaborative initiative that launched in 2021 to provide enhanced access to substance use treatment and recovery resources through the on-scene response of both a Community Paramedic and a Peer Recovery Specialist.
The SAMHSA grant funds will allow the COAST initiative to increase the hours they are available per week, as well as increase the scope of care that can be provided by their team. Both grants support educating first responders and community partners, working directly with those in need, on opioid emergency identification and response, reducing overdose fatalities. In addition, the grants allow the county to continue strengthening a regional network of care for those with behavioral and drug-related conditions and increase access to critically needed treatment and recovery services.
“These grant funds will provide meaningful, effective, and purpose-driven support towards the opioid epidemic that we continue to battle,” said Fire Chief Tom Coe. “This funding is an enormous step towards increasing Frederick County’s capacity in providing the right resources to members of our community in their time of need.”
For more information about COAST, please contact COAST Program staff at [email protected].