The City of Fall River just got a heavy hitter in the fight against substance abuse thanks to the U.S. Department of Health’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The 2021 First Responders Comprehensive Addiction Recovery Act (FR-CARA) grant will provide nearly $2 million over the next four years to address pertinent issues of substance abuse and behavioral health in Fall River and the surrounding areas.

The Fall River FR-CARA project aims to prevent and reduce opioid overdoses by purchasing overdose reversal drugs. Their focus is on training first responders and important members of the community on how to carry and administer them, and develop processes, protocols, and mechanisms for outreach and referral to treatment and recovery support services. The people that suffer from substance abuse and behavioral health benefit the most. A trained group of individuals means a stronger regional network.

The project extends beyond Fall River’s borders and will also serve Somerset, Swansea, and Westport.

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Right now, recovery coaches take on the bulk of substance abuse cases in Fall River within the police force. More specifically, Niki Fontaine, the Street Outreach Worker, is tasked with helping substance abusers, but a job like this takes a village. This grant allows for more recovery coaches in the police department.

This multi-million-dollar grant could be the answer to helping a community that desperately needs it. Not only does it provide action, it also provides education amongst first responders and important members of the community, in turn, benefiting the community that has been suffering the most.

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