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'Life-changing' | Opioid Abatement Board awards $11M in grants

Posted at 8:38 PM, Jun 04, 2024

WAGONER, Okla. — Oklahoma’s Opioid Abatement Board has awarded $11 million in grants to 71 counties, cities and school districts across the state.

The grants are intended to fund addiction treatment and recovery programs.

Wagoner County received one of the grants. The initial award amounts to $300,000, and they will get another $500,000 over the course of 18 years.

2 News spoke with Lanica Willaby, the county’s mental health court coordinator, about the grant.

“That’s a life-changing process. To have that much money and that much time, to be able to help them.”

DeLana Pritchard lost her son Gavin to an opioid overdose. She hopes the grants will keep people away from the same fate.

“One life is one life. I wish somebody would have saved my son. I didn't know who to reach out to, or who to talk to ... I didn't know who my resources were,” Pritchard said.

Terri Garrett-Riggs, executive director of the WRAP Project, told 2 News she helped write the grant for Cherokee County. She said the final proposal was 258 pages long.

Not only did she help secure the grant, her program will be part of using the grant money.

“Everybody deserves a second chance, and we need to have more direct services provided,” Garrett-Riggs said.

The grants are intended to help with treatment and recovery. Ideally, Oklahomans who are clean will stay clean.

Lori Hendricks, the Wagoner County Clerk, is eager to implement the programs.

“Those things that we’re going to be doing are things that are ongoing. It’s not just something that we’ll do one time. We’ll continue to do that for all of the clients that are seen through these programs,” Hendricks said.

The largest grant, worth $700,000 was awarded to the City of Tulsa. They will split the money among the fire and police departments, as well as the Healthy Minds Policy Group.

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