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Expanding Access to Treatment for Substance Use Disorders in North Carolina

By Anuradha Rao-Patel | September 15, 2020 | 4 min read | Industry Perspectives, Behavioral Health, Transforming Healthcare

Substance use disorders have a wide-ranging impact on our state. While the opioid epidemic often takes center stage, it is just one of many substance use disorders. Others include alcohol, tobacco and vaping. These disorders drive costly emergency room visits and hospitalizations.

Currently, only 1 in 10 Americans with a substance use disorder receives treatment. In many cases, it is unclear which kind of care is needed. For those who do seek help, there is a huge difference in the cost and quality of care provided at treatment centers across North Carolina and beyond. That’s why Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is committed to tackling the substance use disorder crisis on multiple fronts, including:

Investing in proven, community-based programs

We’ve made substantial investments in proven treatment programs throughout the state. Our goal is for North Carolinians who live with substance use disorders to get the care they need to lead healthy, productive lives in their communities.

One of these programs is Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers, Inc. (TROSA). TROSA is a multi-year residential and recovery program in Durham that provides education, jobs and ongoing care. Through work-based training at TROSA’s own companies—TROSA Moving, TROSA Lawn Care, and TROSA Thrift and Frame Store—men and women gain the skills they need to transition into the job market during recovery.

Making it easier to find effective treatment centers across the state

To help North Carolinians find the treatment they need, we’re supporting Shatterproof, a national nonprofit dedicated to ending the addiction crisis in the US.

The organization launched a new rating system this year that provides up-to-date information on high-quality addiction treatment programs, setting the standard for treatment. The system, called ATLAS, is a web-based platform that enables people to compare facilities and filter by criteria such as location, standardized quality data and patient feedback, program needs and insurance carriers.

Rethinking addiction treatment to focus on whole-person health care

We’re collaborating with Eleanor Health to increase access to addiction treatment. Eleanor Health meets patients where they are in their recovery journey. They provide proven, whole-person care by coordinating treatment across health care and social services.

Treatment is offered through outpatient clinics, in community settings, and at patients’ homes. There are 15 North Carolina clinics planned in total, with locations in Mooresville, High Point and Durham, which opened earlier this year.

For more information on how Blue Cross NC is addressing the opioid epidemic in North Carolina, visit To learn more about available substance use disorder treatment and support, visit the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Substance Use Resource Center.