Guilford County

Solution to the Opioid Problem

About Us

Guilford County Solution to the Opioid Problem (GCSTOP) was initiated through funding provided from the State General Assembly to Guilford County’s Emergency Services for the purpose of addressing the County’s increasing incidence of opioid overdoses and opioid related deaths. The funding is being used to support the development and implementation of a Post-Overdose Response Team (PORT) designed to prevent repeat overdoses and to counsel users regarding evidence-based harm reduction practices and, if so desired, treatment options. The program serves some of our community’s most vulnerable populations: people who have overdosed and others who are at high risk for opioid-related mortality.

Through education and outreach, we engage participants with harm reduction practices, distribute and train community members on the use of naloxone, coordinate resources with other community partners (such as CURE Triad), and operate mobile and fixed-site syringe exchange programs (SEP).

 The program is administered by UNCG’S Department of Social Work, leveraging ties to many academic units at UNCG that provide technical expertise, medical advice, social and human services capacity, and social science research.

Syringe Exchange Program

The GCSTOP Syringe Exchange Program provides clean needles and equipment, fentanyl test kits, Narcan and training, access to suboxone and methadone, case management, detox and treatment referrals, and access to a registered nurse.

According to the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition, “Syringe exchange programs are one of the most effective public health interventions for decreasing the transmission rates of HIV and other blood borne diseases such as Hepatitis C, as well as connect users to treatment and other important needs such as housing or food assistance.” 

Post-Overdose Response Team

 GCSTOP’s Post-Overdose Response Team provides counseling and other services to residents who have recently overdosed. Individuals who have experienced an overdose are contacted by a PORT within 1 to 3 days after the overdose, and are offered a range of services to prevent future overdoses and opioid-related problems. These services include assessing the likelihood of a future overdose, harm reduction practices, and, if desired, counseling regarding treatment options. PORTs can also connect individuals with services and provide case management.

Family Impact

44% of CPS removals to foster care were for caretaker drug or alcohol use; according to CPS opioids account for a large share of these removals.

Economic Impact

The annual economic impact on Guilford County was $2,012,446,895 due to opioid overdose deaths in 2016 (including lost lifetime earnings).


Nine out of ten (90%) of people with a substance use disorder (SUD) do not receive treatment for the condition.