The program’s co-founder and executive medical director, Dr. John Thorp, said he was excited about the new space but didn’t want people in the audience to forget that this is only the first step and that there is a lot more work to do.
N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper spoke about the need to emphasize treatment options rather than just enforcement and arrest.
“People ask me what do I want at the end of the day after being governor and I tell them I want a North Carolina population that’s better educated, that’s healthier and more prosperous,” Cooper said.
“And we know that substance abuse and addiction can do as much as anything to destroy those three goals in people’s lives.”
The clinic in Horizons sees about 100 women per year, and a total of 225 women come through the program per year.
“I think this is a day when we’re seeing a wonderful step that takes an internationally recognized UNC Horizons program to the next level at probably a more fundemental level,” Folt said.
Director of research and evaluation Kim Andringa said two of the main barriers for women getting treatment are transportation and child care, but the new space solves those problems by having in-house day care and treatment options so the women do not have to travel.
Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., emphasized the importance of money for the center and how it can help curb the opioid epidemic in North Carolina.
“This is a model program that other states will replicate because of the 20 years of experience they’ve got,” Burr said.
Jones said now that Horizons has the space, the next goals for the program are to increase housing options for mothers coming out of the program and to focus on collegiate recovery.
“We women are the warriors in recovery,” Brown said.