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Opioid Abatement Authority Awards Roanoke Valley Over $750,000

The City of Roanoke has received a $252,867 as part of a total award of over $750,000 from the Virginia Opioid Abatement Authority (OAA) with funding going to projects such as Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) Awareness and Training, Peer Recovery Specialists, Xylazine test strips and Mass Spectrometer, Supplies and Training for City EMS staff, and a marketing campaign for the ‘warm line’ at Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare.

The OAA was established by the Virginia General Assembly in 2021 as an independent
entity to abate and remediate the opioid epidemic in the Commonwealth and is financially
supported by the Virginia Opioid Abatement Fund. The OAA offers grants both for localities
and cooperative partnerships. This fund acknowledges the pain and loss experienced by
local residents and families, acknowledges the role of first responders, and other local
government resources deployed during the opioid epidemic.

The City partnered with the Roanoke Valley Collective Response (RVCR) to develop a five-
year plan for the expenditure of the Opioid Settlement funds to include funds directly distributed to the City, grant funds applied for as a local program through the OAA, and grants applied for cooperatively with our regional partners. Earlier this year, Roanoke City Council approved a resolution agreeing to meet the OAA’s “Gold Standard” requirements becoming eligible for a 25% incentive in increased funding for local grants awarded through
the OAA.

“The City’s five-year plan for utilizing the National Opioid Settlement Funding is an
important step forward in helping reduce the devastating effects of opioid abuse in our
community,” stated Roanoke Mayor Sherman Lea.

In addition to the Individual Locality grant, the City of Roanoke in partnership with Roanoke
County, has received a $500,000 OAA Cooperative Partnership grant to build and expand
the regional recovery ecosystem with the Roanoke Valley Collective Response.

A program of the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission, the Roanoke Valley
Collective Response is a multi-sector initiative working across systems to solve the opioid
and addiction crisis across the region. With goals of collaborating across multiple
disciplines, educating the community, and implementing recovery-oriented solutions, RVCR
ultimately seeks to tackle the root causes of addiction crisis and implement regional
solutions to abate the substance use disorder crisis. RVCR is comprised of over 230
members and 150 organizations across 11 localities.

“Today’s funding announcement marks a significant step in our program’s history. We are
grateful to the OAA, and recognize the longstanding effort by the Office of the Attorney
General in securing these settlements,” said Robert Natt, Director of the Roanoke Valley Collective Response. “This funding will help us deliver scalable impact, as
we convene the best minds in the region to identify and develop effective solutions for
those who have been impacted by addiction. We look forward to continued partnership with
the City of Roanoke, Roanoke County, and the Virginia Opioid Abatement Authority.”

“The Roanoke Valley Collective Response is an excellent initiative, and I am always
supportive of regional collaborations and what we can accomplish when we work together in the Roanoke Valley,” added Lea.

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