FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — The city of Fall River has received a 2021 First Responders Comprehensive Addiction Recovery Act grant worth $2 million.
The grant, given by the U.S Department of Health’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will provide $2 million over the next four years to address issues of substance abuse and behavioral health in the greater Fall River area.
First responders and community partners will be provided with overdose reversal drugs and given training that is aimed at strengthening a regional network of care for those with behavioral and drug-related issues.
While Fall River leads the municipality for the project, Somerset, Swansea and Westport will also be given additional training and resources.
The grant will also allow for additional recovery coaches to the Fall River Police Department, supplementing the work being done by the department’s street outreach worker.
Each year, the city of Fall River and its partners train and provide resources to 500 first responders and others that work with specific populations and high-risk groups, such as homeless individuals, veterans and former inmates.
“The opioid epidemic has had a huge impact on Fall River, and addressing this issue requires a unified, collaborative approach,” Fall River Mayor Paul Coogan said.
“This grant allows us to train and equip first responders and organizations working directly with those in need, while also allowing us to strengthen a network that can better care for those at risk of overdose,” he continued. “It tackles the issue from all sides – through behavioral healthcare, through first responders, through community advocates. I am so thankful to the coalition who helped to prepare this application and made this project a reality for Fall River.”