Board of Commissioners approves Medical Assisted Therapy for addiction issues in Randolph County Detention Center

Randolph County Commissioners

ASHEBORO — The Randolph County Board of Commissioners met Monday, March 6, with various funding requests on the agenda for potential action.

The board first approved a contract amendment with Mediko for Medical Assisted Therapy in the Randolph County Detention Center.

“This is the use of medications in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, which is effective in the treatment of opioid use disorders and can help some people to sustain recovery,” said Chief Deputy Aundrea Azelton. “Funding would provide the service of two MAT nurses to assist in the administration of the program.”

The medications included being Suboxone, which is a tablet that works by blocking the receptors in the brain that crave opioids without activating them; Sublocade, a monthly injection and a derivative of Suboxone; and Vivitrol, which is also a monthly injection and binds to opioid receptors in the brain and helps prevent relapses.

The contract is for $95,736 and will run from April to June, but will then be packaged in the contract renewal with Mediko in July.

The board was also presented with a funding request from Friends of the Historic Patterson Cottage Museum for $15,725 in strategic planning funds to help purchase materials needed to display artifacts in the Liberty Heritage Museum.

“The Friends is in the process of creating the Liberty Heritage Museum by remodeling the old Liberty Hardware building,” said Ad Hoc Board Member Warren Dixon. “While remodeling, we were hit by two unexpected expenses.”

“The first was a new HVAC system. The hardware store had a heating unit that hung down from the ceiling. It turned out to be totally inadequate to heat the museum, plus it created a sight barrier and was a safety hazard. So we installed a new HVAC system at the cost of $16,125. Secondly, we didn’t plan on doing any immediate remodeling to the upstairs, which has a completely separate entrance from the street, but some of the windows were faulty and were allowing birds and other critters and rain to enter the building. We were forced to replace the 21 windows at a cost of $12,000. These added unexpected expenses, over $28,000, have forced us to seek additional funds.”

Following the presentation, the board approved the funding request.

The board then approved the addition of two Cooperative Extension positions, Local and Community Food Systems Agent and Digital Literacy and Skills Agent, to the county budget. The positions had previously been funded through ARPA dollars, but the need arose to move them into the county budget.

“Currently, there are 12% of residents in Randolph County that suffer from food access issues, and 21% of children live in poverty,” said Cooperative Extension Director Kenny Sherin. “Our Local Food Systems agent has done an amazing job helping farmers connect with markets and helping people connect with local healthy, fresh food.”

“There’s also recently been a study released by the National Skills Coalition called Closing the Digital Skill Divide. That study states that 92% of all jobs require some type of digital skills, meaning the ability to use computers. About 75% of people have those skills, but there’s still a lot of room to make up in getting people the skills that are needed. So the Digital Literacy and Skills agent will help our Randolph County residents of all ages gain those digital skills to be able to earn, learn or be well in Randolph County.”

The final action that the board took was to postpone the public hearing for the Farmer Fire Tax District restructuring till the May meeting so that residents could be properly notified after an error occurred with the mailing lists.

The Randolph County Board of Commissioners will next meet April 6.

By Ryan Henkel, North State Journal