FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Department of Psychiatry has awarded a State Opioid Response (SOR) grant to Western Arkansas Counseling and Guidance Center, commonly known as The Guidance Center (TGC).

According to a press release, The grant will provide Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) for people suffering from Opioid Use Disorder (OUD).

New government data from The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics shows a record high 96,779 drug overdose deaths occurred between March 2020 and March 2021.

This number represents a 29.6% increase over the previous year.

The Guidance Center states that the awarded grant will help remove the barriers for the uninsured and underinsured to receive treatment services.

Treatment that combines medication and counseling has been shown to be effective, says TGC, because addiction is a disease that impacts a person’s behaviors. Counseling can help people reinforce new behaviors and work with emotions that are often linked to addiction.

For more information about co-occurring (substance use and mental health) services or specifically medication-assisted treatment through The Guidance Center, call (479) 785-9470.