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Duke Energy joins fight against North Carolina’s opioid epidemic with $500,000 in grants

RALEIGH – Duke Energy announced Thursday $500,000 in grant funding to two organizations championing the battle against the opioid epidemic in North Carolina.

The Duke Energy Foundation awarded $100,000 to the More Powerful NC campaign and $400,000 to the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition (NCHRC).

“Our communities need help, so we’re joining the fight against the opioid crisis,” said Stephen De May, North Carolina president of Duke Energy. “We’re proud to support the critical work of these organizations to expand access to help, and to broaden educational outreach in North Carolina.”

The More Powerful NC campaign was created by the North Carolina Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services, as well as other partners, to raise awareness about the opioid crisis and to encourage North Carolinians to take action in their own communities.

The campaign outlines real, actionable steps for the safe storage, use and disposal of pain medications, as well as resources for finding treatment and recovery support. Duke Energy Foundation funds will be used for public education and outreach.

“The opioid epidemic is ripping through North Carolina and leaving a trail of sick and grieving people in its wake,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “That is why I am so proud to team up with this diverse and passionate group of government and corporate leaders. More Powerful NC is raising awareness of addiction and spurring action in local communities. I want people all over this state to appreciate that together, we are more powerful than this epidemic.”

NCHRC is a comprehensive harm reduction program. The organization engages in grassroots advocacy, resource development, coalition building and direct services for people impacted by drug use. NCHRC also provides resources and support to the law enforcement, public health and provider communities.

“The North Carolina Harm Reduction is proud to partner with Duke Energy Foundation. This funding will make it possible for us to improve access to healthcare and other social resources for directly-impacted people living in rural communities in eastern, central and western North Carolina by supporting our outreach and linkages to care programs,” said Shelisa Howard-Martinez, executive director of North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition.

Duke Energy Foundation funding for NCHRC will establish nine new regular outreach sites; expand wraparound services and build capacity by creating a replicable model for community technical assistance. Within 12 months, the grant to NCRHC will reach 2,360 individuals through direct service and 25 communities through technical assistance programs engaging local healthcare providers, government, law enforcement and social services.

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