Project to address opioids in 4 Alabama counties

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — A new program is being developed to address the opioid problem in parts of west Alabama.

A statement from the University of Alabama says a team of researchers and others has gotten a $200,000 federal planning grant for a telehealth network to help fight opioid addiction and deaths.

The group will work in Franklin, Marion, Walker, and Winston counties. The program will assess what’s going on in the area and recommend improvements.

Authorities say Alabama has the nation’s highest per-capita opioid prescription rate. The state had more than 5,100 overdoses from 2006 through 2014.

The project aims to improve prevention, treatment, and recovery of substance abuse. It will use an idea called “whole-person care,” which coordinates health, behavioral health, and social services.

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