Southern Regional Area Health Education Center’s North Carolina Evidence Based Practices Center (NC EBP Center) has been awarded a grant from the Community Grants Funds of Cumberland Community Foundation, Inc., for its Facing Addiction Through Community Empowerment and Intervention Teams, (FACE-IT!) Academy. Its purpose is to improve community efforts in addressing the problems of substance use disorders and opioid addiction. Those who work with or encounter persons with substance use disorders, including employees of mental health organizations, health care systems, faith communities, law enforcement, judicial systems, social service agencies, public centers, educational institutions, and others, will be invited to participate in the FACE IT! Academy, scheduled to begin in April 2019. Up to 15 community stakeholders will be recruited to gain knowledge and understanding of science-based perspectives and best practices related to substance use disorders treatments.

Southern Regional AHEC’s NC EBP Center plans to implement the FACE-IT! Academy over a two-year period, offering a structured substance use disorder training and development program to participants. The FACE-IT! Academy targets human services providers and community members to increase awareness, responsiveness, and competence in addressing substance use disorders in Cumberland County. Specific training in evidence-based perspectives of substance use disorders is integrated with an introduction to motivational interviewing and other concepts. Following the training components, FACE-IT! Academy members are empowered to design group and/or individual projects to be implemented in the community, with the goal of improving the community’s response to the substance use and opioid crisis.

The NC EBP Center has successfully implemented multiple FACE IT! Academies across North Carolina and has trained academy facilitators for organizations in Virginia. The academy’s success has been demonstrated by positive evaluation results, coinciding with improvements in knowledge of evidence-based practices in treating substance use disorders. Examples of successful FACE IT! Academy projects include development of prevention and awareness programs, social media campaigns, educational programs for law enforcement, judicial system employees, and faith-based organizations and development of advocacy programs.

For more information on the FACE IT! Academy and the work of the NC EBP Center, visit